The majority of American's will experience foot pain at some point in their lives. The issue is that problems in the feet can have a substantial impact on their quality of life. From restricted walking, working, exercising or playing with children, there are many major downfalls of having foot problems.
An ever-increasing issue in the feet (especially in women) is Morton's neuroma. But what is Morton's and why does it start? How can it be treated?
While there are many physicians, surgeons, and specialists for almost every kind of issue a human could face, there are a surprisingly low number of podiatrists. Podiatrists are doctors that are specifically geared for foot health and care.
Have no fear, a complete guide for this type of neuroma is here. We've done all the research for you on everything you need to know about how it begins, why it begins, and how to treat it.
What Is It
Neuromas are created with the thickening of nerve tissues. This occurs when said set of nerves experience extreme compression and nerve irritation. The compressions cause the nerves to swell and even enlarge.
The major issue of these nerves thickening is that it can lead to permanent nerve damage if the necessary treatment isn't administered in a timely manner. A neuroma can occur anywhere in one's body.
There are a variety of types of a podiatric neuroma.
The most common type is Morton's neuroma. These are normally found between the third or fourth toes, but it can also begin to grow in other parts of the foot.
While it is still unclear as to why, women are more at risk of developing the nerve issues than men.
Potential improper foot mechanics come into play when evaluating the issue. Flat feet or high arches can contribute because they create instability around the toe joints.
Symptoms of Moton's Neuroma usually consist of pain, tingling, numbness and burning sensations. They are most commonly felt between the toes, however, people who suffer from it have stated that these symptoms sometimes occur in the ball of the foot.
Swelling is a normal symptom of the neuroma as well. The swelling is usually the worst between the toes. The feeling of Morton's neuroma is similar to that of having a stone in one's shoe.
Shoes with a narrow toe box create especially bad symptoms. They get worse if said shoes are laced tightly as well. It increases stress on the nerves as the toes are trapped.
Much like having a stone in your shoe, it doesn't affect you if you're sitting (albeit a little uncomfortable). However, the pain will increase substantially with walking. Symptoms usually become unbearable when walking up or down stairs.
The Anatomical Explanation of Morton's Neuroma
Nerve compression has commonly been confused with Morton's foot in the past. However, it is a completely different set of issues.
Morton's foot is when the second toe is longer than the first, which makes the second toe appear longer than the hallux when looking at the foot. However, this syndrome doesn't have anything to do with actual nerve compression that occurs in Morton's neuroma
Plantar digital nerves in the foot are what supply the sensory signals for the forefoot and toes. The carriers of the sensory signals are what we call digital nerves. These nerves are the terminal for which medial and plantar nerves communicate.
Because these nerves need a clear and open terminal, issues are created when compression in the terminals are created. This occurs when the toes are pressed together on a regular basis and closes the pathway for the nerves.
That's when the pain begins. The nerves become trapped and aren't able to divide the fibers to reach the toes and eliminate swelling. The adjacent nerves lose their connecting branches and increase potential compression because the nerves are no longer mobile entities.
All of these issues lead to what we know as Morton's neuroma. The good news? There is a treatment for it.
How to Treat It
After thorough clinical evaluation, a podiatrist can tell you what customized plan of treatment will be the best for your case of Morton's neuroma. If you are in significant pain, the sooner you see a doctor the sooner you can start your path to recovery.
Furthermore, the sooner you get seen the less chance you'll have of being forced to have an operation. Non-surgical intervention is definitely the preferred choice, as a surgery can keep you off of your feet for weeks.
Start with new shoes, medication, and orthotics to being treating your issues. If the issues are very minor, the problem might go away on its own. Just avoid high heels and other slim-fitting shoes for a while.
Find a pair of shoes that fit well and allow a lot of room for your toes. Find shoes that have very thick, cushy soles that will take the pressure off the bone structure of your foot.
Find insoles that add gel cushions and offer the parts of your foot support where it is lacking. Rest your feet often, and have foot massages performed on your feet on a regular basis.
Foot massages will help alleviate the pain, awaken the nerve endings, and get blood to the problem areas.
Aside from a massage, there are toe stretches you can do to help the pain and open up the terminals for the nerves. Toe exercises paired with ankle exercises can get you stepping back on the path towards overall foot health.
Consult your podiatrist today and find the best program for you and your twinkly toes.
Though it is easy to confuse this condition with other problems like sciatic nerve pain or plantar fasciitis, it is important to identify this issue so you can treat it appropriately.
The nerve damage that will need reparation is available through a specific set of treatments. If you are experiencing pain in your heels or toes, you can always start with DIY remedies first.
Consider new comfortable shoes. You can learn more about fantastic insoles and find the best ones for your feet when you contact us today.