Chronic pain, burning, tingling, and tingling in the ball of your foot might mean you have a painful medical condition called Morton’s neuroma. Unmanaged, Morton’s neuroma makes it difficult to play sports and can cause so much discomfort it limits your mobility.
While Morton’s neuroma can be debilitating, double board-certified podiatrist Thomas Rambacher, DPM, FACFAS, FAPWCA, of Podiatry Hotline Foot & Ankle, in Mission Viejo, California, can usually treat your condition with lifestyle changes and conservative remedies. Keep reading to find out what lifestyle habits can aggravate Morton’s neuroma, and the simple changes you can make.
What is Morton's neuroma?
Morton’s neuroma is a type of neuroma, a condition that occurs when nerve tissues are irritated and grow. Morton’s neuroma is when this happens between the third and fourth toes.
A Morton’s neuroma growth is benign, but it can be extremely painful and make it harder to move around. Morton’s neuroma can make it feel like you have a rock in the ball of your foot and make your foot feel numb or like it is tingling.
What lifestyle habits cause Morton’s neuroma?
Certain lifestyle factors can either cause Morton’s neuroma or aggravate the condition after you develop it. These are some of the more common lifestyle factors associated with Morton’s neuroma.
One of the most common causes of Morton’s neuroma is the type of shoes you wear. Some of the most common culprits are shoes that are high heeled, pointy, or narrow in the front of the toe box.
High heels, especially if more than 2-inches high, put pressure on the nerve of your foot, sometimes aggravating it. Shoes that are pointed or narrow also can squeeze or aggravate the nerve, especially if worn for long periods of time.
To prevent or treat Morton’s neuroma, avoid wearing shoes that are high heeled or narrow for long periods of time. Attend a professional foot fitting session to choose shoes that are comfortable, supportive, and properly fit your feet.
When choosing shoes for athletics, pick the right shoe for your sport of choice, and buy shoes with plenty of padding in the ball of the foot. You can also maximize your comfort and support with custom orthotics.
How you exercise
Along with wearing the right shoes during sports or athletic activities, how you exercise can raise your risk of Morton’s neuroma. Athletic activities that put a lot of strain on the ball or your foot and are high impact, such as running, HIIT exercise, tennis, and racquetball, can all be irritating to your foot.
You can reduce the strain on the ball of your foot by mixing your training up with lower impact activities, and avoiding aggravating sports altogether when you’re experiencing the worst symptoms of Morton’s neuroma.
Being overweight puts more strain on your feet in general, increasing your likelihood of developing various foot conditions. Being less active from the painful symptoms associated with Morton’s neuroma can also cause you to gain weight, making your condition worse.
If you have Morton’s neuroma and are overweight, Dr. Rambacher can help you manage your weight while helping you with an exercise program with lower impact stretches and activities.
Morton’s neuroma can be debilitating, but with conservative interventions, it doesn’t have to be a long-term problem. For assistance treating or preventing Morton’s neuroma, contact us today for an appointment.