Our bodily organs are prone to ill health. Perhaps the feet don’t always receive a fair share of attention due to their thick skin character and always on the go character. Poor life style habits can lead to an affliction of the feet known as Morton’s neuroma. It is also named interdigital or metatarsalgia.
Morton’s neuroma is an affliction that is caused by the swelling of the nerves located in the ball of the toes. The swelling can result in irreversible nerve damage. People with this condition often describe heel pain, especially when walking, both feet can be affected, and it usually manifest in the nerves nestled between the third and fourth toes. The disease is not gender specific, however, most cases involve women and runners.
Tell-tale signs of neuroma are a burning pain, tingling sensation and numbness in the toes affected. This is due to the fact that the nerves in this areas get pinched and swell due to the abnormal movement of the metartarsal bones, that is, the long bones behind the toes. The pain is intermittent and usually aggravated by any movement that induces further pinching of the nerve. It is not unusual for the pain to reach a point where it is unbearable.
The causal factors behind this neuroma are linked to activities and conditions that causes the toes to be compressed and consequently the nerves found in the toe bones become irritated. Namely, wearing tight fitting shoes such as fashionable high heel brands, participating in high impact sports such as running and foot deformities such as bunions.
Sufferers have to undergo a proper diagnosis in order to ascertain the presence of this condition. Although X rays, MRI and CT scans are employed to rule out other possibilities, these procedures are of little benefit in the diagnosis of this condition. The best diagnostic procedure apart from a family doctor is to make use of specialist podiatrist service, a skilled podiatrist will be able to feel the neuroma when examining the feet.
Treatment does not have to be invasive. Sometimes the pain can be eased and the condition corrected by just a change of footwear, buy shoes with wider toe area so as to relieve the pinching of the nerve. Additionally, soft gel cushions brands such as Dr Jill are great at releasing pressure on the foot while walking. This is because this orthotic devices are useful in correcting the abnormal movement of the metatarsal bones.
In cases of severe pain, cortisone injections can be used to provide relief and reduce the swelling. Cortisone is injected directly into the affected nerves and this helps to calm and reduce the burning. Sufferers can also opt for cryosurgery, a needle is inserted in the affected areas and a freeze of the nerve is performed. Sometimes surgery has to be performed, doctors cut into the affected area and remove some of the surrounding tissue or affected nerve to relieve the pain.
In most cases, Morton’s neuroma can be prevented by the common sense act of avoiding toe compressing shoes and making sure that you look after your feet well as an athlete.