Neuromas are growths that can develop throughout certain parts of the body, and they are benign, which means they are not cancer. Morton’s Neuroma, in particular, is a neuroma that develops in the foot. There are nerves that run from the heels and feet to the toes, and Morton’s Neuroma occurs when the tissue around one or more of these nerves thickens.
The symptoms of Morton’s Neuroma include burning pain centralized in the balls of the feet, as well as feelings of stinging or burning in the toes, and even numbness to the feet or toes. Although medical science has found a link between Morton’s Neuroma and certain injuries and pressures to the foot, there are also cases of Morton’s Neuroma that develop without any known reason. When Morton’s Neuroma first develops, the pain may only be felt during times of activity or when wearing certain shoes. If left untreated, however, Morton’s Neuroma can develop into a consistently painful condition.
Although the causes of Morton’s Neuroma are hard to define, studies and histories of the condition have shown a link between certain factors and Morton’s Neuroma. Some factors contributing to the risk for developing Morton’s Neuroma include:
- Wearing shoes that do not fit properly;
- High-impact exercise that causes repeat impact to the feet;
- Previous injuries;
- Conditions on the foot which cause poor walking posture, such as being flat-footed or having soars on the feet.
Although Morton’s Neuroma is not a life-threatening condition, it is important to seek medical advice anytime you are suffering from foot pain that has not subsided within a few days. There are many conditions that can cause this type of foot pain, and it is very hard to diagnose the condition without the proper medical exam and x-rays. Some foot pain can be a symptom of more serious conditions. Other, less serious conditions which cause foot pain may lead to more permanent damage if left untreated. This could include severely limiting a person’s ability to move or walk for their entire life.
If your physician does diagnosis Morton’s Neuroma in your foot, there are several treatment recommendations he or she is likely to make. The first suggestions your physician will make will include rest, proper fitting shoes, and using acetaminophen and ibuprofen to reduce pain or swelling. If these treatments do not work or the pain worsens, your physician may also consider steroid injections or removing the Neuroma via surgery. Since the side effects of surgery include permanent numbness in the area of the toes, surgery is generally treated as the last option.
In order to avoid developing Morton’s Neuroma, or if you would like to attempt home treatment for Morton’s Neuroma, there are some simple steps you can take. The first thing you should do is give your foot plenty of rest. If you regularly participate in high-impact exercise or activities, you should forgo them for a few weeks to allow your foot a chance to heal. While your foot is healing, you can take ibuprofen to reduce swelling, and treat your swelling and pain with an icy massage. You can easy do this by filling a plastic cup with water and freezing it. Then, roll the icy cup firmly over the area of your foot that is in pain several times a day.
In order to accelerate the healing process, or to avoid developing Morton’s Neuroma in the first place, you should pay close attention to your foot wear. Always choose shoes that fit properly and are not tight, and do not wear high heeled shoes. You can also purchase inserts that will provide better support and comfort.
The most important thing to remember is that you should always see a physician, no matter how insignificant you think your foot pain is, if the pain lasts more than a couple of days without getting better.
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