What is Morton’s neuroma?
Morton’s neuroma is a type of nerve compression syndrome that usually occurs in the space between the third and fourth toes, or less commonly between the second and third toes.
Compression or friction between the toes in the space causes irritation to the sheath surrounding the nerve, resulting in painful inflammation and eventually thickened scar tissue around the nerve. This process is called perineural fibrosis, which is why Morton’s Neuroma is technically termed Interdigital Perineural Fibrosis.
What causes Morton’s neuroma?
Morton’s neuroma is the result of excessive compression or friction on the nerve that may occur due to overload/overuse through the foot. This overload can be from poor foot biomechanics, such as bad arch control or flat feet. A recent injury to the foot or ankle may also cause Morton’s neuroma.
Morton’s neuroma is common in middle-aged women. A reason for this is thought to be from wearing high-heeled shoes, especially those who are trying to squeeze a wide foot into a narrow toe box. Walking in high heels causes the front of your foot – where Morton’s neuroma occurs – to bear your weight, with a narrow toe box then squashing your toes together.
How long does it take to get better?
Every case is different, with full recovery often taking from weeks to months. In the rare case, if there is not an adequate improvement in six months, surgery may be recommended.
How can BodyViva help?
Depending on what has caused the condition to develop, your physiotherapist may use padding or taping to unload the painful area. Changes in footwear or orthotics may also need to be discussed with our podiatrist.
Techniques such as acupuncture, soft tissue massage, ice therapy, muscle and joint stretches, joint mobilization and alignment techniques may be utilised at different stages of recovery.
As your recovery progresses, exercises may need to be prescribed to correct any suboptimal biomechanics that initially caused the condition to develop.