What Is Neuroma?

A neuroma is a growth or tumor of nerve tissue that is most often benign (non-cancerous). When it occurs on the foot, most often between the second and third or third and fourth toes, it is referred to as Morton’s neuroma. It is considered by many professionals to be a fibroma rather than a true tumor.

Symptoms Of Neuroma In The Feet (Morton’s Neuroma)

Symptoms associated with neuroma in the feet include burning feet, foot pain, tingling, numbness, swollen toes, and pain in the ball of the foot when bearing weight. You may also feel as if there is a pebble in your shoe. Usually, there is no external sign of the condition. Morton’s neuroma can develop after irritation, pressure, or injury to the nerves in your toes.

Causes Of Morton’s Neuroma

Irregular Foot Shape Or Deformity

High arches, flat feet, and foot deformities can contribute to the formation and progressive worsening of neuromas when left untreated. This is due to the atypical gait associated with such features. Over time, walking to accommodate the instability of irregular (but not necessarily uncommon) foot shapes can irritate the nerves in the toes, leading to Morton’s neuroma.

Improperly Fitting Or Specialty Shoes

Wearing shoes that correctly fit your feet is paramount for pleasant podiatric performance. If your shoes are too tight, too big, too small, or improperly shaped for your foot (such as too wide or narrow), this can lead to the irritation that causes Morton’s neuroma. The condition can also be brought on by wearing specialty shoes, such as high heels or shoes for sports — ski boots, rock climbing shoes, ice skates, and the like.

High-Impact Sports And Activities

Working with your hands can cause them to be irritated and sore, and the same is true for your feet. If you participate in foot-centric sports such as soccer, or enjoy running or jogging frequently, you may be at risk for developing Morton’s neuroma. Following the tips below may help prevent the formation of nerve tumors/fibromas that lead to the condition.

Preventative Measures And Self-Treatment

Switch Up Your Shoes

While you may be partial to high heels or a particular pair of shoes that are oh-so cute but oh-so ouch, the best choice you can make for the health of your feet is to wear comfortable, well-fitting shoes that are appropriate for the weather and activity you will be participating in. Whether that means wearing flats at the office or opting for comfort over style in your gym footwear, wearing proper shoes can help prevent pain and promote healing.

TIP: If wearing certain shoes is important to you, such as for a special event, performance, or activity, bring a change of comfortable shoes for down time and be sure to RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation). You don’t have to toss your favorite stilettos — just take them off after the pictures!

Custom Orthotics

Highland Foot And Ankle Clinic provides custom orthotics for pain relief and prevention of the progression of conditions such as Morton’s neuroma. Comfortable, well-fitting shoes alone may not be enough to combat the painful symptoms. If you’ve tried switching to flats, wide-toed shoes, or other types of accommodating footwear to no avail, contact us today to begin the process of custom orthotic fitting.

Take A Break From Irritating Activities

We know it’s hard to hear, but sometimes a little rest and TLC are the only remedy for foot pain. While padded shoes are an improvement, pounding your feet against the pavement or kicking objects like soccer balls and punching bags can continuously irritate the nerves in your toes. If you don’t give your feet the time and space they need to recover, you may find yourself unable to participate in the activities you love or even walk without intense pain.

Tip: Alternative low-impact activities that are safer for your feet include swimming, yoga, elliptical machines, and walking. Although these options put less strain on your feet, be sure to wear properly fitting shoes — except in the pool, of course.

Consult A Podiatrist ASAP

If you are experiencing foot pain that does not cease after a few days, please contact Highland Foot And Ankle Clinic in St. Paul for an appointment. We are here to diagnose and treat a variety of foot conditions, including Morton’s neuroma. No foot pain is normal, and we believe that you deserve to walk, run, dance, and enjoy every activity you love without a tingle in your toes or a stab in your step. Contact us today for an appointment!