Morton’s neuroma is a condition characterized by pain or discomfort amidst the 3rd and 4th toes due to nerve compression.
What are the indications?
The indications of Morton’s neuroma usually include pain, often with pins and needles sensation on one side of a toe and the neighboring side of the next toe. The pain is aggravated if the forefoot bears weight and can also be reproduced by compressing it when further crushes the nerve.
The condition can be assessed with a simple test. The objective is to stimulate the nerve being crushed and reproduce the symptoms by pressing amidst the 3rd and 4th metatarsals. The therapist will press the metatarsal heads together which compresses the nerve in between. The sole of the foot is also squeezed to compress the nerve top to bottom. In case pain is reproduced, the doctor will come with a diagnosis of Morton’s neuroma.
Other factors that are checked during assessment include:
- Overpronation of the foot in which it rolls inwards or flattens. This causes the bones of the forefoot to compress the nerve over time.
- The range of motion of the ankle must be assessed particularly dorsiflexion since this indicates tight calf muscles that might add up to overpronation of the foot.
Management of Morton’s neuroma
Adequate rest is a vital component of treatment. If the individual continues with normal training, the pain and inflammation increases and prevents healing.
It is suggested to utilize a padding below the forefoot that elevates and spreads the forefoot bones by relieving the pressure from the nerve. Using the pads in the shoes beneath the forefoot spreads the metatarsals, thus providing more room for the nerve. Orthotic inserts might be needed to fix any biomechanical issues of the foot.
The doctor or physiotherapist might prescribe anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen. Minimizing the inflammation and swelling will enable more room for the nerve as well as reduce the pain and pressure.
Orthotic inserts might also be fitted to correct any biomechanical issues with the feet. Remember that this will not directly minimize the inflammation but can relieve the pressure from the nerve to enable the foot to heal as well as prevent the injury from returning.