A neuroma is a thickening of nerve tissue that can develop in various parts of the body creating nerve damage. Morton’s neuroma is the most common neuroma in the foot. It occurs at the base of the third and fourth toes.
If you have Morton’s neuroma, you will likely experience the following symptoms:
- A feeling that something is inside the ball of the foot
The symptoms begin gradually and occur only occasionally at first. This generally happens when one is wearing narrow-toed shoes or performing certain aggravating activities. The symptoms may go away temporarily by massaging the foot or by avoiding activities that brought on the pain.
However, over time, the symptoms progressively worsen and may persist for several days or weeks at a time. The symptoms become more intense as the neuroma grows in size and the nerve damage becomes more permanent.
One clearly distinctive risk factor is wearing shoes that have a tapered toe box, or high-heeled shoes that cause the toes to be forced into the toe box. People with certain foot deformities such as bunions, hammertoes or flatfeet, are also at high risk for developing a neuroma; as are those who participate in activities that require a repetitive irritation to the ball of the foot, such as running or racquet sports.
It’s best to consult your doctor in the early stages of development as early diagnosis greatly lessens the need for invasive treatments and a potential surgery.