Morton’s neuroma is non-cancerous growth on the nerve cells induced by repeated injuries or trauma. These injuries can be caused by repeated involvement of sports, ill-fitted shoes, use of high heeled shoes, flat feet or high arches or prior surgical incision in the affected areas. This condition causes symptoms like pain, burning, tingling sensation, and numbness at the ball of the foot. The pain extends to the third or fourth digits of the foot. Middle-aged women are more likely to develop this condition than men. This condition does not settle on their own. The measures to relieve pain in this condition are discussed in this article.
What Helps Morton’s Neuroma Pain?
The following treatment options can help in Morton’s neuroma pain-
Ice Packs– application of ice packs is the first line of treatment for pain of Morton’s neuroma. It should be done three to four times a day for 10 to 15 minutes. It helps to reduce the pressure on the nerve, reducing swelling and pain of the affected area.
Rest– rest can relieve the pain caused by Morton’s neuroma. The pain is aggravated by long term use of high heels or badly fitted shoes. With rest, the pain may disappear. Athletes who are involved in sports should reduce participation for a small period of time and rest the feet to reduce pain.
Shoe Modification– Morton’s neuroma is greatly related to the kind of shoes, one is wearing. Tight or poorly fitted shoes or high heeled shoes can cause excruciating pain. If you are supposed to walk for long distances, then you should choose not to wear high heels. Use padded shoes as it can reduce the pressure of adjacent tissues on the nerve fibers.
Orthotics And Arch Support– use of custom-made or over the counter, orthotics or arch supports provide support to the foot. This helps in the repositioning of tendons, heel arch, ligaments, muscles, and bones. They gently release the pressure on the nerve and thus help in reducing the pain of this condition.
Medications– non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines can reduce the intense pain of Morton’s neuroma significantly. It reduces swelling, redness, pain, and discomfort caused by the condition.
Foot exercises– foot exercises have the potential to reduce the pain and swelling caused by this condition. It should begin with a gradual pace and slowly increasing its intensity. Stretching exercises relieve the pain, and strengthens the arch of the foot. Foot exercises also strengthen the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones around the nerve that relieve pain in the foot.
Injection– corticosteroid injections are very effective in Morton’s neuroma. It remarkably reduces the pain and swelling of the foot. However, they are prescribed in small doses as they can cause side effects like the weakness of the neighboring tissues of the nerve, weight gain, and hypertension.
Surgery– surgery is the final treatment option for the relief of pain of Morton’s neuroma if other treatment options fail to provide relief in nine months or more. It involves surgical spacing of tissues around the nerve or excision of the entire growth or damaged part of the nerve.
Morton’s neuroma is a condition characterized by thickening of the nerve fibers either in its sheath, covering or roots. It is formed due to partial or complete disruption in nerve fibers by a trauma or injury. This injury can be caused by a cut or a crush or excessive stretching or surgery in the region of nerve. It affects women more than men in their middle ages. Its symptoms include tingling, numbness, burning, and pain in the affected area which do not go on their own.
Morton’s neuroma can cause extreme pain while walking or performing other activities with the foot. It can be reduced by the application of ice packs, rightly fitted shoes, orthotics, anti-inflammatory medicines and others discussed above.
- OrthoInfo. (2020). Morton’s Neuroma https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/mortons-neuroma
- Cleveland Clinic. (2021). Neuromas of the Foot. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17710-neuromas-of-the-foot