Painful or Numbing Morton’s Neuroma


Do you feel like you have a marble or pebble in the ball of your foot, near the third and fourth toe? Each step gives you a sharp pain, but there’s not really a bump or anything to indicate that there’s anything there. What’s going on there?

Morton’s neuroma is a painful condition of the foot caused by thickened nerve tissues. The inflamed tissue irritates the nerve and causes painful symptoms. The pain can radiate from the site of thickened tissues, throughout the forefoot. Some may feel numbness in the toes as a result of this “pinched nerve.”

What causes Morton’s Neuroma?

●       Foot deformities, like bunions, or abnormal development of your feet can eventually lead to Morton’s neuroma. The extra pressure on the front of the foot can cause inflammation around the nerve.

●       Wearing high heels, especially those that crowd the toes together, can cause more pressure on the balls of the feet and on the toes.

●       Athletes who have to run or jump repeatedly can experience the high pressure on the ball of the foot at the start of the running or jumping action. The chronic pressure can cause inflammation of the tissues around the nerve.

●       Traumatic injury to the tissue around the nerve, such as dropping something on it or kicking something solid can cause inflammation that also aggravates the nerve.

Those who have symptoms of pain or numbness near the front of the foot should pay attention to how the feet feel after wearing specific shoes. If you notice a pattern with a specific pair of shoes, try some over-the-counter orthotic inserts or buy more supportive shoes with a roomier toe box and good cushioning.

If that doesn’t work, our podiatrists might suggest a stronger medical approach such as steroid injections or surgically removing the affected nerve.

Come see us with any concerns about chronic Morton’s neuroma. Make an appointment with us at The Podiatry Group to find the best treatment, which may include custom orthotics. Our podiatry team can help you at our Jonesboro, AR office.