Numbing or Pain in the Ball of Your Foot? The Answer Might Be Morton’s Neuroma

Affecting around 1 in 3 people, Morton’s Neuroma is a treatable foot condition that occurs when the nerve between the long toe bones, called metatarsals becomes irritated. Neuroma is when the nerve bundle gets pressure or friction, causing the bundle to enlarge and cause pain. The Walking Clinic is the leading foot clinic in Canberra with a team of highly skilled podiatrists experienced in diagnosing and treating a wide range of foot conditions. Let’s take a deeper look at Morton’s Neuroma including the causes, symptoms and natural and traditional treatments.

What Are the Causes of Morton’s Neuroma?

An irritated or damaged nerve between the toe bones causes Morton’s neuroma. The main reasons for the nerve reacting this way include congenital foot problems, pressure on the ball of the foot while running or constant wearing of shoes with tight, tapered toe boxes.

What Are the Symptoms?

You may not notice any visible signs of Morton’s neuroma on your foot. Pain tends to start slowly, and in the early stages removing your shoe and massaging your foot may help. However, symptoms will worsen over time and may include:

  • Sharp, stinging or burning pain between the toes when you stand or walk
  • Swelling between the toes
  • Tingling and numbness in your foot
  • A feeling of a small rock or pebble under the ball of your foot
  • Pain that’s worse when you wear tight or pointed toed shoes

Diagnosing Morton’s Neuroma

Qualified podiatrists will generally diagnose Morton’s Neuroma with a thorough examination of your feet. A podiatrist will:

  • Identify the presence of a mass between the toes
  • Put pressure on the spaces between the toe bones to determine the location of the pain

X-rays won’t show a neuroma, however they may be used to help rule out other conditions that cause foot pain, such as a stress fracture or arthritis.

What are the Treatment Options?

Getting treatment for Morton’s neuroma is important, the neuroma can become larger and more painful without treatment and the nerve damage may become permanent. The treatment prescribed will depend on the severity of the neuroma, and to get the most relief a combination of treatments is usually required.

There are steps that can be taken at home to relieve symptoms, such as wearing supportive shoes with a wide toe box, using shoe pads, regular use of ice packs and resting your feet.

Medical treatment often involves injections of cortisone to reduce the swelling in the nerve. Orthotics may also be prescribed to ease the pain, and metatarsal dome or bar can also be used to offload the ball of your foot where you are having pain. In extreme cases, surgery can be used to remove a portion of the nerve tissue, however, this may result in permanent numbness in the affected toe.

When to Visit a Podiatrist

If you are experiencing severe foot pain or numbness that interferes with your daily activities or pain that is worsening over time, you should make an appointment with a podiatrist promptly. At the Walking Clinic our highly qualified podiatrists are experienced and trained to diagnose and effectively treat Morton’s Neuroma with a range of treatment techniques. If you want ensure your feet are in the best hands, see us today in Belconnen, Kingston, Lyneham or Woden. Make an appointment and see why we The Walking clinic Canberra knows and trusts. Book online now.