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Morton’s Neuroma

Newcastle Podiatry - Monday, October 20, 2014

I get a lot of pain under the ball of my foot between the third and fourth toes – what is going on?

If you're suffering from burning, tingling, numbness or shooting pain, it's possible you're suffering from Morton's neuroma. It occurs when fibrous tissue forms around the nerve that runs between the metatarsals and into the web space, usually between the third and fourth toes.

Morton's neuroma is caused when the nerve is compressed or irritated, often as a result of an increase in flexibility of the forefoot in walking or running gait. Wearing high heels or tight-toed shoes can also exacerbate this. People with really flexible feet or who repeatedly put pressure on the forefeet through things like running in minimalist shoes or shoes of poor quality can also be at risk.

Unlike broken bones or torn ligaments, this nerve pain can be harder to diagnose. An ultrasound or MRI can help detect it and the good news is that once it's been diagnosed, there are a wide range of treatments available by our podiatrists.

Sometimes simply changing shoes or controlling the foot with suitable prescription functional foot orthotics can be enough to control super flexible feet. In more extreme cases cortisone injections or surgery is required to ease the pain and it is important that an appropriately qualified podiatrist assist, well out of the realm of your normal physical therapy style practice.

If this sounds like your pain, your best bet is to make an appointment with your podiatrist to get to the root of the problem as soon as possible.

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