Do you frequently feel like there's something in your shoe, only to take it off and find nothing? This sensation of always stepping on something can usually be attributed to a condition known as Morton's neuroma. Usually, you'll feel like there's a ball or stone between your third and fourth toes, but sometimes the symptoms can appear in other places on the ball of your foot. This condition is unlikely to go away on its own, so it's important that you learn a little about it and how to treat it.
What causes Morton's neuroma?
The sensation of stepping on something is caused by pressure on a nerve leading to your toes. Usually, this pressure is generated by swollen tissue in the area. Your actual foot may not appear swollen. Rather, the swelling is often isolated to a specific little area around the nerve.
There are a number of factors that may cause this inflammation and pressure on the nerve. Often, wearing high heels can have this effect. Even wearing non-heeled shoes can lead to Morton's neuroma if the toe area of the shoe is too narrow for your foot. Spending long hours standing or walking on hard surfaces can make Morton's neuroma worse.
What should you do if you think you have Morton's neuroma?
In some cases, the condition will subside within a week or two if you change the lifestyle factors that are contributing to it. Stop wearing heels, and switch to flats with a roomy toe box. If you stand on hard floors, invest in a padded mat to make things easier on your feet. You can also try soaking your feet in an Epsom salts bath a couple of times per week. This may help reduce the inflammation. Just prepare the bath according to the instructions on the Epsom salts package.
If your symptoms don't subside once you make the changes above, it's time to call a podiatrist like those at the Foot & Ankle Care Center PA for some more advanced treatments.
How will a podiatrist treat Morton's neuroma?
After using tests such as X-rays and palpation to confirm that you are suffering from Morton's neuroma, there are a number of treatments your podiatrist may recommend, depending on the severity of your condition. For mild cases, specialized orthotic shoe inserts may be used to alter the way you stand and take pressure off of the irritated nerve. For more severe cases, steroid injections may be used. If neither of these options work, your podiatrist may suggest surgery to remove the tissue around the nerve.
If you always feel like you're stepping on something, don't assume it's your imagination. You likely have Morton's neuroma. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to treat and manage this annoying condition.