The majority of American's will experience foot pain at some point in their lives. 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 is Morton's neuroma. But what is Morton's and why does it start? How can it be treated?
What Is Morton's Neuroma?
Neuromas are created by the thickening of nerve tissues. This occurs when said set of nerves experience extreme compression and nerve irritation. This compression 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 foot neuromas.
The most common type is Morton's neuroma. These are normally found between the third or fourth toes. Other neuromas can also begin to grow in other parts of the foot.
Possibly due to an increased use of shoes with a heel, 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.
Morton's Neuroma Symptoms
Symptoms of Morton'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, or a bunched up sock under the toes when wearing shoes.
Shoes with a narrow toe box create especially bad symptoms. They can 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.
Morton's Neuroma Causes
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 plantar nerves become trapped and can no longer send signals efficiently.
Morton's Neuroma Treatment (Avoiding Surgery)
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. 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.
While new shoes and anti-inflammatory medication can be helpful, supporting the shape of your foot with an orthotic shoe insert is extremely important to ultimately eliminating the compression of the nerve.
Our Top 5 Orthotics for Morton's Neuroma for 2023
🏆 #1- Samurai Insoles Ninjas
✔️ Design: Samurai Insoles Ninjas are one of the few products on the market that are an ACTUAL ORTHOTIC that is not super rigid. This gives your feet the support they need to comfortably relieve plantar fasciitis.
They also can be worn in ANY shoe with a removable insole, giving you the flexibility of using them in many types of shoes! And the best part?
Because they aren't an insole made of foam and fabric, they last SO LONG!
There isn't anything to wear out, just put them under the factory insoles of a new pair of shoes and you're good to go.
✔️ Price: At $29.99 these are an absolute steal! Custom orthotics for plantar fasciitis can easily cost more than $500. For less than 1/10 the price, these are nearly as good.
✔️ One Year Warranty: Samurai Insoles Ninjas have a one year warranty! No other product we reviewed even comes CLOSE to this. Wow!
✔️ Made in the USA: Samurai Insoles are made in an orthotic lab in the USA. The fact that an American made orthotic can be purchased for under $30 still amazes us.
#3- Superfeet Green Insoles
Superfeet have been around a LONG time. They got their start being sold in retail sporting goods stores, and have transitioned to selling online in recent years, but this has presented the company with some challenges.
✔️ Design: If you've checked out the Protalus design, just know that the Superfeet did it first. They were one of the first to incorporate an orthotic plastic layer on the outside of the insole. Once again, this does the job, but it also makes them thicker than the Samurai, reducing the choices of shoes they'll fit well in.
✔️ Price: Superfeet are borderline in the pricey range, current retail at the time of writing this article is $49.95.
✔️ 60 Day Warranty: Superfeet green insoles come with a 60 day warranty, significantly less than Samurai Insoles Ninjas or Protalus products.
❌ Made in the USA: Superfeet are not made in the USA unfortunately. Once again, for this price we had hoped they would be.
#4- Dr. Scholl's Custom fit Orthotic Inserts
✔️ Design: Not a full length insole, but still designed to be placed on top of your shoes factory insoles, which may make it difficult for some people to adjust to the feel of this. Once again, Dr. Scholl's Custom Fit combine a thick piece of plastic to the bottom of the insole, instead of inside.
❌ Price: Dr. Scholl's Custom fit Orthotic Inserts currently are our second most expensive selection. At the time of this article they are $49.96 retail price.
✔️ 90 Day Warranty: Dr. Scholls Custom Fit Orthotic Inserts have a 90 day warranty.
❌ Made in the USA: Dr. Scholl's "Custom fit" Orthotic Inserts are not made in the USA unfortunately.
#5- Dr. Scholl's Plantar Fasciitis Orthotics
❌ Design: Well, unfortunately, there isn't much of one. Dr. Scholl’s Pain Relief Orthotics for Plantar Fasciitis are a very thin insole with a *very* thin piece of plastic glued to the bottom. It's unclear how much weight they can hold before flattening out, but by the looks of it, not much.
✔️ Price: Well, they are affordable at $31.00!
✔️ 90 Day Warranty: Dr. Scholl’s Plantar Fasciitis Orthotics have a 90 day warranty.
❌ Made in the USA: Dr. Scholl's Pain Relief Orthotic Inserts are not made in the USA unfortunately.
Whichever you choose to fight your Morton's Neuroma pain, choose now!
The longer you allow Morton's Neuroma pain to linger, the harder it is to get rid of, and the longer it will take!