Have you ever experienced numbness or tingling in your toes? Intermittent pain? A clicking feeling as you walk? The sensation that you are walking on a pebble stuck in your shoe? If so, you might be suffering from Morton’s neuroma – one of the most common problems seen by foot specialists today. A pair of great insoles for Morton's neuroma can be one of the best ways to help relieve your pain.
Morton’s neuroma – also called traumatic neuroma – is an inflamed and/or enlarged nerve in the metatarsals (toes). It most commonly occurs between the 3rd and 4th metatarsal heads. This is where the intermetatarsal nerve is the thickest. Neuromas can also occur between the 2nd and 3rd metatarsal heads.
According to Harvard Medical School, it is unknown why this benign swelling along a nerve in the foot occurs, but once it begins, "the nearby bones and ligaments put pressure on the nerve, causing irritation and inflammation."
If you are experiencing any symptoms related to Morton's neuroma, you'll want to see a podiatrist to get a diagnosis. Symptoms include:
Pain between the toes while walking or running. Stopping the activity most often brings immediate relief.
Tingling, numbness, or pain in the ball of the foot.
Swelling in the toe area.
A clicking sensation between the toes as you walk (Mulder’s sign).
Both biomechanical problems and ill-fitting footwear can cause Morton's neuroma. Being overweight is also a contributing factor. The four main causes are:
Biomechanical irregularities – High arches and flat feet can lead to neuromas. These foot types cause instability around the toes and increased pressure on the metatarsal nerves. Overpronation will cause the metatarsals to rotate excessively, pinching the nerve.
Trauma to the nerve – Blunt trauma to the toes can damage the nerve.
Improper footwear – Shoes that are too tight will squeeze the toes together. High heels over two inches will increase the pressure on the front of the foot.
Repeated stress on the feet – Jobs that keep you on your feet all day, in conjunction with biomechanical problems or improper footwear, can speed up the development of neuroma.
Women make up the majority of people who suffer from neuromas. This is mainly due to their overuse of high heels and tight shoes. For women, it is important to choose proper footwear to prevent the condition. Pick shoes with:
Wide toe boxes
Heels less than two-inches high
Room for insoles
Thick soles that are shock-absorbent
Women who wear high heels frequently and also engage in weight-bearing exercises like running, aerobics, or tennis may develop Morton’s neuroma more quickly than others.
If you are suffering from Morton's neuroma, your podiatrist will most likely tell you to start wearing insoles to return your foot to a normal position. This will address any biomechanical irregularities – particularly overponation.
For immediate relief try:
Icing the foot
Using over-the-counter shoe pads to relieve pressure
If you have a serious case, your podiatrist might:
Inject the area with corticosteroid or prescribe anti-inflammatory medication
Surgically remove the neuroma
Surgery is a last resort. This will be performed under a local anesthetic. You have to stay off the foot for four to six weeks after the procedure. Most people report complete recovery after the surgery without pain. Side effects include continued numbness in the area.
The best insoles for Morton's neuroma will correct overpronation, one of the main biomechanical irregularities that contributes to nerve trauma. To effectively correct your biomechanics, your insoles should be firm and align with the contours of your arches. Morton's neuroma insoles will also lift and separate the metatarsals, alleviating pressure on the nerve.
In addition, metatarsal pads can help alleviate and prevent pain from Morton's neuroma. These small, cushioned pads are specifically designed to support your metatarsal bones, in turn taking pressure off the ball of your foot and relieving forefoot pain.
For most people, choosing more supportive, comfortable footwear and adding a pair of insoles with metatarsal pads will effectively treat and prevent Morton's Neuroma.
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