Morton’s Neuroma is a thickening around a nerve that most commonly occurs between the third and fourth toes. The condition is also known as plantar digital neuroma. The most common symptom is pain. The pain can be "shooting" or "burning" pain that radiates up or down the foot. You may also experience numbness or an odd sensation in one of your toes, usually the fourth toe (next to the little one).The condition can actually be caused by poor footwear and the symptoms tend to occur more so with inappropriate footwear. It is therefore crucial, to choose the correct type of shoe to both reduce the chance of getting this condition and to prevent the symptoms occurring if you have Morton’s Neuroma.
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Things you need
- A speciality shoe store
Have both of your feet measured. You may find that one foot is wider than the other. You should always buy shoes to fit the larger and wider foot. Morton’s Neuroma often occurs in wide feet. Most shoes have a B width and if your foot is a C width or above, you may have been squashing the front of your foot which can cause a Morton neuroma to form. A narrow shoe will also bring on the pain or numbness associated with a neuroma.
Avoid pointed toe shoes, or high heels. Both of these styles will place a great deal of pressure on the front of the foot and may contribute to the development of a neuroma. If you already have a neuroma, they will certainly bring on your symptoms.
Find shoes that have a firm but cushioned and well padded sole. This is crucial in the front of the shoe around where the ball of your foot sits. If a shoe is very thin or lacks cushioning in the sole, the nerves can become irritated and a neuroma may form.
Choose a shoe with an adjustable strap or laces. These should be firmly secured at the top to prevent your foot slipping forward in the shoe. If you have a wide foot, you can loosen the laces further down to provide more room in the shoe. Your toes will be able to relax and the front of your foot will not be squashed so you will be less likely to be in discomfort.
Avoid slip-on shoes whenever possible. Your foot will slip forward in the shoe and the widest part of your foot (the toe ball area) will no longer be sitting in the widest part of the shoe. This will squeeze the foot and the nerves that run between your toes and may bring on your symptoms or actually make you more susceptible to a neuroma.
Visit a speciality shoe store as most regular shoe stores only stock B width shoes which will not be comfortable for you. A speciality shoe store will stock shoes that are deeper in the toe area and can accommodate toe problems such as claw toes which is often see with Morton’s Neuroma. Your podiatrist may be able to adjust your shoes and stretch problem areas.
Visit you Podiatrist if you cannot find any shoes that do not bring on your symptoms. You may be a candidate for surgery to remove the neuroma.
Tips and warnings
- Never buy a shoe that is uncomfortable in the store. The material should not have to stretch in order for the shoe to be comfortable.
- Always take your orthotics with you when buying new shoes. Orthotics are custom made inserts prescribed by your podiatrist. They are very beneficial in reducing symptoms of Morton’s Neuroma.
- Do not shop for new shoes first thing in the morning. The best time is at the end of the day when your feet are at their largest. Your feet swell as the day progresses and are likely to be at their largest at the end of the day or evening.