Written By: David Stotesbury, B. Sc. (HK), C. Ped (C) / Canadian Certified Pedorthist
What is Morton’s Neuroma?
Morton’s neuroma is a condition that affects the ball of the foot and the toes. It is caused by a thickening or irritation to the nerves that run between the metatarsal bones, called interdigital nerves. Typically, burning, numbness, a sensation of walking on a rock/pebble, or a sharp/shooting pain is felt down into the toes (most commonly the 3rd and 4th toes). This can be caused by a number of different factors such as; an injury to the forefoot, improper footwear selection (adding a compressive force to the forefoot), or a drop of the transverse metatarsal arches (or the arch across the ball of the foot).
How is Morton’s Neuroma treated?
Morton’s Neuroma symptoms are normally able to be treated through conservative measures including:
- Orthotics to address the mechanics causing the pinching or compression of the interdigital nerve
- Inclusion of metatarsal pads (normally incorporated into a custom foot orthotic – but possible as an addition to footwear) to support the foot’s transverse arch and remove pressure
- Strengthening of muscles within the feet (eg. Physiotherapy or home exercises)
- Address restrictions in range of motion within the joints of the feet (e.g., manual therapy with chiropractic or physiotherapy)
- Wearing properly fitted footwear with a lower heel to ball differential, with a cushioned midsole and a toe box wide enough to not compress the ball of the foot
- Surgery, if needed