What Is Morton's Neuroma? Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and Avoiding Surgery

mortons neuroma

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 2020

orthotics for flat feet

🏆 #1- Samurai Insoles Ninjas ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Why are Samurai Insoles our top pick for 2019 for Morton's Neuroma?

✔️  Great Reviews: "They work", "Amazing", "A Miracle", "A must have"; this is just some of the tremendous feedback Samurai Insoles Ninjas are getting from customers with Morton's Neuroma recently.

✔️ 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 relieve Morton's Neuroma pain while STILL being comfortable! 

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 $39.99 these are an absolute steal! (Edit: They are currently on sale on Amazon for $29.99)  Many people pay over $500 for custom orthotics for flat feet. For less than 1/10 the price, these are nearly as good.

✔️ Greater than 30 Day Return Policy: Samurai Insoles Ninjas have a 60 day return policy, and a ONE YEAR WARRANTY!  No other product we're aware of even comes CLOSE to a one year warranty. Samurai Insoles will even accept a return if you've worn them for 59 days and then decide they don't work for you.

✔️ 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 is truly amazing.



#2- Protalus Insoles ⭐⭐⭐⭐

If you've been on the internet in the last year, you haven't sneezed without seeing a Protalus ad. They are comfy and can be very beneficial for flat feet. Protalus' hefty price tag remains their biggest negative.
✔️ Great Reviews: "Solid insoles", "Almost pain free", "They work"; Protalus has built a very loyal fan base over the past 2 years.
✔️ Design: Protalus "kind of" has an orthotic merged with an insole. Protalus took a different approach by combining a thick piece of plastic on the bottom of the insole, instead of inside. This definitely does the job, but it also makes them thicker than Samurai Insoles, reducing the choices of shoes they'll fit in well.
Price: Here's the problem with Protalus; they're $99.95. Oof. For that kind of money you'd better REALLY love them. It also reduces the chances you'd buy a whole bunch of them to put in all of your shoes.
✔️ Greater than 30 Day Return Policy: Protalus has a 90 day return policy. We always wonder about very extended return policies like this one. If something fits you for 60 days, is there a chance you'll change your mind in 90 days? I suppose it's possible...
Made in the USA: Protalus insoles are NOT made in the USA unfortunately. For the price we had hoped they were.

#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.

Great Reviews: When looking through the reviews for Superfeet you'll surely find many who have been helped by the GREEN insole line. Unfortunately, they have apparently had issues with cheap knock offs sneaking their way onto Amazon and Ebay, which has led to many complaints by customers that they have received fakes when buying online.

✔️ 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 retail for $49.99, that's getting into the pricey range.

✔️ Greater than 30 Day Return Policy: Superfeet GREEN has a 60 day return policy.

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 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

✔️ Great Reviews: Overwhelming positive on Amazon at the time of writing this.

✔️ Design: Not a full length insole (but neither is Protalus), 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 retail for $53.95 on Amazon, our second most expensive selection.

✔️ Greater than 30 Day Return Policy: Dr. Scholls Custom Fit Orthotic Inserts has a 90 day return policy. Once again, we wonder if something fits you for 60 days, is there a chance you'll change your mind in 90 days?

Made in the USA: Dr. Scholl's "Custom fit" Orthotic Inserts are not made in the USA unfortunately.

#5- Dr. Scholl's Pain Relief Orthotics for Plantar Fasciitis ⭐⭐⭐

Great Reviews: Mixed reviews on Amazon "More time will tell", "Didn't really help much", "It's OK".

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! Dr. Scholl’s Pain Relief Orthotics for Plantar Fasciitis retail for $18.99 on Amazon.

✔️ Greater than 30 Day Return Policy: Dr. Scholl’s Pain Relief Orthotics for Plantar Fasciitis have a 90 day return policy.

Made in the USA: Dr. Scholl's Pain Relief Orthotic Inserts are not made in the USA unfortunately, and at $18.99 we wouldn't expect them to be.


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!