A Morton’s neuroma is a painful condition that can typically causes some shooting pains and numbness between the toes. It is due to an impingement of the nerves between the metatarsal heads. It can occur between any of the metatarsal heads, but is most common between the 3rd and 4th metatarsal heads:
The most commonly accepted reason for a pinching of the nerve between the metatarsal heads causing the Morton’s neuroma is footwear that is too tight across the metatarsal heads (ie shoes that are too narrow). There are many other factors that are involved, such as the anatomy and shape of the metatarsal bones and the biomechanics of the foot, but footwear probably plays a big role.
Treatment for a Morton’s Neuroma
As footwear plays a big role, then getting out of footwear or into footwear that is wide is an important first step. For example, there are the Altra running shoes that are very wide in the forefoot. The Archies thongs are also worth considering. They will allow the foot to spread so that there is not pressure across the metatarsal heads and they have a comfortable arch support.
Toe spacers to “correct the toes” are also widely recommended and can often be very helpful (and are one of our top selling products!). These go a long way to improving the function or biomechanics of the toes and metatarsal bones.
Metatarsal dome pads are very commonly used to help a Morton’s neuroma. It is important to place the metatarsal dome pad correctly in the right spot (see these instructions). It might also be better to use our small size and place it just behind where the neuroma or pinched nerve is, as this is take weight of that area and also spread the metatarsal bones to stop the pinching.
This really is the basis of the initial treatment of a Morton’s neuroma: wider shoes, toe correctors and metatarsal pads.
If this conservative approach does not help, then the next step would be some of the injection therapies and a surgical removal of the problem piece of nerve.