Shoes adapted to your feet? It could be Morton’s neuroma.

Shoes adapted to your feet? It could be Morton’s neuroma.

Have you ever wondered why your feet hurt every time you put on your shoes or exercise? It could be Morton’s neuroma.

What is a neuroma?

A neuroma is a thickening of nerve tissue due to compression and irritation of the nerve, which can occur anywhere in the body. The most common neuroma in the foot is Morton’s neuroma, which occurs between the third and fourth toes. It is sometimes called intermetatarsal neuroma, referring to its location in the sole of the foot between the metatarsal bones.

The incidence of Morton’s neuroma is 8 to 10 times higher in women than in men.


One of the most common causes of a neuroma is improper footwear. Tight, narrow shoes push the toes into the toe box (the part of the shoe that surrounds the toes on closed-toe shoes), which can lead to bone compression and pinching of the nerve. In addition, high-heeled shoes put a lot of pressure on the sole of the foot, which can also irritate the nerve. BlankPlainsHospitalSponsorBanner

Certain foot deformities such as bunions, hammer toes, or flat feet also put you at higher risk of developing a neuroma, as do activities that involve repetitive irritation of the sole of the foot, such as running or jogging. tennis.

In addition, a foot injury can lead to a neuroma.


A Morton’s neuroma can cause one or more of these symptoms:

– Tingling, burning, numbness or pain in the toes or the sole of the foot.

– A sensation that something is inside the sole of the foot, or the sole of the foot is swollen.

– A feeling that there is something in the shoe like a pebble, or that your sock is rolled up.

Symptoms begin gradually, initially only occurring when you wear narrow-toed shoes or perform certain aggravating activities. These symptoms may temporarily disappear by removing the shoe, massaging the foot, or avoiding aggravating activities. However, in some cases, the symptoms get progressively worse and may persist for days or weeks.


The initial treatment is non-surgical:

Appropriate footwear: Avoid high heels or tight shoes. Wear wider shoes with lower heels and a soft sole. This allows the bones to expand and can reduce pressure on the nerve, giving it time to heal.

Orthoses: Custom shoe inserts and pads help relieve irritation by lifting and separating bones, reducing pressure on the nerve.

Cortisone injection: One or more injections can reduce swelling and inflammation of the nerve.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: Products like ibuprofen can also decrease nerve swelling.

Studies have shown that a combination of wider, more comfortable shoes, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, custom foot orthotics, and cortisone injections provide relief for over 80% of people with Morton’s neuroma.

If conservative treatment does not relieve your symptoms, you can discuss surgical treatment options with your podiatrist.

Remember that foot pain is not normal and you should never ignore it. If you experience pain in your feet, consult your podiatrist.

Dr CastielloDr. Michelle Castiello is a podiatrist at White Plains Hospital Physician Associates, seeing patients at 600 Mamaroneck Avenue, Suite 102 in Harrison. To make an appointment, call 914-723-8100.

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