Morton’s Neuroma & Ball of Foot Pain
Have you ever felt like you had a pebble stuck in your shoe and a burning or tingling sensation in the ball of your foot? Also known as ball of foot inflammation, Morton’s Neuroma is a painful condition where the tissue around a nerve leading to the toes thickens. Most people can relieve this pain by wearing the proper shoes and insoles for Morton’s Neuroma.
What Is Morton's Neuroma?
Morton’s Neuroma happens when a nerve between the toe bones becomes inflamed due to excessive pressure usually from wearing tight fitting or high-heeled shoes. This inflammation causes the existing tissue around the nerve to thicken, leaving it swollen. The result is a sharp, burning, or stinging pain in the ball of your foot along with numbness in the affected toes.
People with Morton’s Neuroma might feel like they have a pebble in their shoe. It usually affects the area between the third and fourth toes but can also form between the second and third toes. Nerve pain in the foot can make it difficult to walk. By using shoe orthotics for Morton’s Neuroma, you can take pressure off your toes to alleviate any discomfort.
Symptoms of Morton's Neuroma
Morton’s Neuroma pain may start out slow and gradually worsen. Wearing high heels or putting pressure on the balls of your feet aggravates the nerve. In the beginning stages, removing your shoe and massaging your foot usually relieves any discomfort. You cannot see Morton’s Neuroma and there is no outward sign, such as a lump or bump under the foot.
Other Morton’s Neuroma symptoms are:
- Burning pain in the ball of your foot that radiates toward your toes
- Sharp or stinging pain between your toes when standing or walking
- Tingling sensation or numbness in your toes
- Swelling between your toes
- Feeling like you’re walking on a pebble that’s lodged in your sock or shoe
What Causes Morton's Neuroma?
Anything that irritates, injures, or puts incredible pressure on the nerves leading to your toes can cause Morton’s Neuroma. One of the most likely causes is wearing high-heeled shoes that press the toes into the toe box and put pressure on the ball of the foot. This is why Morton’s Neuroma is more common in women than in men.
Morton’s Neuroma causes and risk factors include:
- Tight, narrow, pointed toe, or high heeled shoes with higher than a two-inch heel
- High-impact activities like running, skiing, rock climbing, and racquet sports that require tight-fitting shoes and put repetitive stress on the ball of the foot
- Flat feet or high arches creating instability around the toe joints
- Foot deformities like bunions or hammertoes
How Do You Treat Morton's Neuroma?
Morton’s Neuroma treatments include a combination of rest, medication, and change in activities. Wearing insoles for high heels and supportive shoes with a lower heel and wider toe box help alleviate most symptoms. Icing the toes can reduce swelling, too, while some doctors might recommend a corticosteroid injection or local anesthetic to numb the nerve and relieve pain.
While in recovery, people with this condition should avoid playing sports that put too much pressure on their feet. You might also consider using a thin athletic insole or ¾ insole for better support in tight, low-profile shoes like cleats, spikes, and running shoes.
Healthcare providers recommend Morton’s Neuroma treatment options based on level of pain. They might also perform tests like an Xray or ultrasound to ensure the cause of pain is not a stress fracture. If at-home remedies and injections do not work, a doctor may recommend Morton’s Neuroma surgery to remove part or all of the nerve tissue.
Solutions for Ball of Foot Pain & Inserts for Morton's Neuroma
When changing footwear, the best shoes for Morton’s Neuroma have cushioned arch support and shock absorbing foam. People with wide feet should shop for shoes in wide sizes. Custom orthotics and Morton’s Neuroma insoles reduce pain by taking the pressure off the inflamed nerve. Specially made metatarsal pads provide cushioning and spread the toes apart.
PowerStep® orthotic insoles and inserts are recommended by podiatrists to relieve and prevent pain from common foot conditions like Morton’s Neuroma. Whether you have high arches, flat feet, or need a shoe insert for running with ball of foot pain, we offer the best insoles for Morton’s Neuroma, including:
Pinnacle Plus Met Insoles
Designed to relieve ball of foot pain, PowerStep Pinnacle Plus Met full-length insoles provide the ideal blend of support, flexibility, and cushioning. A built-in metatarsal pad spreads and cushions the metatarsal heads to alleviate pain and reduce pressure while a deep heel cradle offers better stability and motion control.SHOP NOW
UltraFlexx® Foot Rocker
Healthcare providers encourage Morton’s Neuroma exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles, ligaments and tendons of the foot and lower leg. Our UltraFlexx Foot Rocker provides a deep stretch to boost your flexibility, prevent and treat injuries, as well as relieve common heel, foot, calf, and leg pain.SHOP NOW
PULSE® Plus Met Insoles
Running sports are a known cause of Morton’s Neuroma. PowerStep® PULSE® Plus insoles are running orthotics that provide double layer, shock absorbing cushion for enhanced comfort as well as arch support and a deep heel cradle. They also feature a metatarsal pad to relieve Morton's Neuroma in running shoes.SHOP NOW
Removeable Metatarsal Pads
Morton’s Neuroma foot pads like PowerStep’s Metatarsal cushions transfer weight away from the metatarsal bones to relieve pinched nerves. They provide extra cushioning and have an adhesive backing to keep them in place. Our met pads fit easily into most shoes including high heels, dress shoes, tennis shoes, and more.SHOP NOW
FAQs about Ball of Foot Pain & Morton’s Neuroma
General ball of foot pain does not always result in Morton’s Neuroma. However, you may have more questions regarding the condition. Below are some frequently asked questions about the condition, treatment options, and how insoles for Morton’s Neuroma can help.
Morton’s neuroma - Symptoms and causes. (2019). Mayo Clinic.
Morton’s Neuroma: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment. (n.d.). Cleveland Clinic.