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Your Guide to Morton’s Neuroma Treatment

by Patty Weasler, RN February 06, 2021 0 Comments

Morton’s Neuroma mostly affects women with burning pain and feeling as if walking with a marble on the ball of your foot. Characterized by inflammation and thickening of the nerve between the bones in the toe, a proper Morton’s Neuroma treatment plan is necessary for a full recovery. Keep scrolling to learn how swift treatment can help relieve Morton’s Neuroma and it’s painful symptoms. 

Morton’s Neuroma Pain Treatments

Thankfully, Morton’s neuroma can usually be managed with conservative treatment. Incorporate these therapies to stop foot pain and get back to all the activities you enjoy.

Wear Proper & Supportive Footwear

One of the causes of Morton’s neuroma is improper footwear. By ensuring that your toes have enough room in the toe box and that you are not wearing tight shoes you will be giving your foot room to spread out. With room to spread out, there is less pressure on the nerve tissue allowing your foot to heal. Avoid wearing high heels or shoes with worn out support, these can also place additional pressure on your nerve.

Insoles, Orthotics & Inserts

Shoe inserts, such as; arch supports, ball of foot or metatarsal pads, are an easy and effective way to provide pain relief from Morton’s neuroma. Inserts work by separating and lifting the bones in the foot. This will place less pressure on the nerve in your foot and correct any flat feet issues you may be having. There are lots of options when choosing orthotics: over-the-counter, prescription, and more. Talk to your doctor and refer to our guide below on insoles.

Choosing the Best Insoles

Morton Neuroma Exercises

Exercise is a treatment option that should be used if the pain is not too severe. Stretching and strengthening will improve the muscles in your arch. Start your exercises slowly and stop if pain increases. Physical therapists are professionally trained to teach patients how to stretch and exercise as they recover from an injury. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your local physical therapy office for further guidance.

Effective Morton’s Neuroma Exercises

Rest from High Impact Activities

Activities that cause excessive stress on your foot can worsen Morton’s neuroma. Rest will give your foot and the affected nerve time to heal and allow the inflammation and pain to subside. Continuing to participate in sports or running can cause the pain to worsen and spread to other toes. 

Massage

Regularly massaging the metatarsal, or ball of foot, area where pain symptoms are felt can help increase circulation and decrease inflammation. Simple self massages make all the difference, try doing this daily with your hands or utilize a massage tool that can help apply more pressure throughout the area.

Cold Therapy

Cold therapy works in two ways to treat Morton’s neuroma. The first is by interrupting the pain pathway thereby numbing pain. The second is by causing the surrounding blood vessels to tighten, or constrict, reducing blood flow to the area. The reduction in blood flow will reduce swelling. Grab an ice pack and wrap it around your foot. Be sure to only leave it on for 20 minutes at a time to prevent skin irritation or damage.

Anti-Inflammatory Medications

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are over-the-counter medications taken orally to reduce pain and swelling. You may know them as ibuprofen or naproxen. These medications are generally considered safe for most people, but if you have never taken them before talk to your doctor or pharmacist to make sure they will not cause issues with other medications or conditions you may have.

Medical Treatments

When home remedies are not enough to manage the pain and swelling then it’s time to turn to medical treatments. Keep reading to learn more about these treatment options and how they can help you.

Cortisone Injections

Cortisone injections use a powerful steroid medication that is directly injected into the site of pain. Also known as a corticosteroid injection, this treatment is highly effective at reducing swelling and pain. The injection is done in a doctor’s office and typically requires minimal downtime. Due to the side effects of the medication, you may only be able to get a certain number of injections.

Nerve Removal Surgery

When other treatments don’t relieve your Morton’s neuroma then it might be time to turn to surgery. Nerve removal, also called a neurectomy, is when a surgeon removes part of the nerve tissue. This will relieve pain but can cause numbness in the toes. Talk to your doctor to weigh the risks and benefits of this procedure.

Decompression Surgery

Decompression surgery involves removing the soft tissue and ligament that surrounds the compressed nerve. By removing the cause of compression the surgeon should be able to relieve the foot problems that come along with this condition. Your recovery will depend upon the surgical approach that was used, plantar or dorsal, and the severity of your condition.

How Long Does Morton’s Neuroma Take to Heal?

Everyone’s recovery from Morton’s neuroma will look different. For some people all it takes is a change to wider shoes and over-the-counter pain medication; whereas for others, they will need surgery. Recovery after surgery will vary depending upon the severity and type of surgery. For neurectomies, recovery can be anywhere from 1 to 6 weeks. Always talk to your doctor to learn more about your expected recovery and how it will affect your foot in the long term. 

Morton’s Neuroma Prevention Tips

Instead of just treating Morton’s neuroma, let’s prevent it! Here are our best prevention tips to keep pain and discomfort far away from your feet.

  • Avoid tight shoes
  • Avoid high heels
  • Use an orthotic or shoe insert
  • Wear socks that are padded on the ball of the foot
  • Routinely stretch and exercise your feet
  • Take frequent breaks from standing

Exercises and Stretches for Morton’s Neuroma Pain

Morton’s Neuroma Outlook

Morton’s neuroma, medically known as intermetatarsal neuroma, is a condition that causes foot pain and discomfort. A nerve becomes inflamed or compressed, typically in the third and fourth toes of the foot. Simple treatments like changing your shoes, orthotics, and exercise can help relieve the pain. If that is not enough then it might be time to consider medical treatment or surgery. Always talk to your doctor before you begin Morton’s neuroma treatment to have the affected area examined and properly diagnosed.

Sources:

https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases--conditions/mortons-neuroma

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15118-mortons-neuroma

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/179773

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Patty Weasler, RN
Patty Weasler, RN

Patty Weasler is a freelance health writer and nurse. She is certified in critical care nursing and has been practicing for over 10 years. Patty lives in Milwaukee, WI with her husband and three children. She enjoys spending her time with family and educating people about their health.



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