What is Morton’s Neuroma?

Morton’s neuroma is a condition that causes foot pain typically in the ball of your foot and between your third and fourth toes. It can feel like you’re standing on a marble or that you’re standing on your sock that has rolled up under the bottom of your foot.

How Does a Morton’s Neuroma Form?

Morton’s neuroma is the result of the thickening of tissue around one of the nerves in your foot. This can cause foot pain that feels sharp and burning. Friction, trauma, or pressure can cause Morton’s neuroma to form.

Woman holding her foot in painWhat Are the Symptoms of Morton’s Neuroma?

Though the term neuroma is in Morton’s Neuroma, there is no lump or tumor that can be seen if you have Morton’s neuroma. The most common symptom will be foot pain. You may also experience:

  • Pain in the ball of your foot that radiates to your toes
  • Pain that intensifies with wearing shoes or activity
  • Numbness or strange sensations in your toes

Am I at Risk for Morton’s Neuroma?

Women are 8 to 10 times more likely to get Morton’s neuroma. If you have certain foot conditions like flat feet, bunions, or hammertoes. You may also be at higher risk for the condition if you:

  • Wear high heels
  • Run
  • Wear tight or narrow shoes
  • Participate in sports that put pressure on your toes like rock climbing

How Is Morton’s Neuroma Diagnosed and Treated?

If you are having foot pain, see your doctor for an accurate diagnosis. Since there is no lump that can be seen, your physician will likely press your foot in an effort to reproduce your pain. They may also feel for a lump or listen for a click between your bones when pressing on your foot. 

You may also receive an x-ray to rule out a stress fracture. You may also receive an ultrasound, which can be especially good at finding soft-tissue abnormalities like neuromas. An MRI can also be a useful imaging tool but can be much more expensive than other options.

Multiple women wearing high heel shoes

Treatment for Morton’s neuroma can be simple. They can include:

  • Choose the right footwear. Avoid wearing high heels and start wearing wider shoes with a soft sole. 
  • Using orthoses. These are shoe inserts or pads that are custom-made to fit the form of your foot and shoes. These can help relieve foot pain by reducing nerve irritation and separating the bones.
  • Using injections. These can include things like corticosteroids that can reduce swelling and inflammation around the nerve. 

In some cases, you might need surgery to decompress your nerve or surgery to remove the nerve itself.

How Physical Therapy Can Help Foot Pain and Morton’s Neuroma

A physical therapist can help you feel better by advising you on proper footwear options and assessing your foot function. They can also provide the necessary shoe inserts to help you relieve your foot pain. They may use a plantar pad to elevate the bones of the toes that are affected by Morton’s neuroma. They can also provide massage, cryotherapy, or stretching exercises to help reduce your pain and keep you pain-free. 

Physical therapy can be useful during the early stages of Morton’s neuroma. If you’ve got intermittent pain or have pain only when wearing certain shoes, physical therapy could help. 

Physical therapy can also help correct any gait abnormalities that may have happened as a result of walking with foot pain. This can help keep you pain-free. 

You don’t have to suffer from foot pain. 

Contact Cawley Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Today

Reach out if you have questions about Morton’s Neuroma and how it can be treated with physical therapy. 

Give us a call at 570-208-2787 to start feeling better today.