Morton’s neuroma – description:
Metatarsalgia (also known as Morton’s neuroma or Morton’s syndrome) is named after the man who discovered it (Dr Thomas G. Morton (1835-1903). Metatarsalgia has a Greek derivative and quite literally means pain in the mid-foot area (metarsus = midfoot, algos = pain).
Morton’s Metatarsalgia is a compression syndrome (compression = being subject to increased pressure, syndrome = a group of symptoms) and it therefore essentially involves excess pressure of the toes.
Metatarsalgia – cause
This bruising irritates the small lateral branches of one or more nerve pathways in the toes (nervus tibialis) that are responsible for the middle and forefoot areas of the foot and the toes. A common cause of this is excessive mechanical pressure of the metatarsus combined with misalignments at the feet such as fallen arches or bunions. This leads to the nerve cords becoming permanently irritated and promotes the formation of neuromas (small benign tumours made of nerve cells and nerve fibres). The result is an intense burning pain and discomfort when walking. The pain is located primarily in toes, spreading downwards from this point, and it is usually relieved by taking off your shoes.
High heels, tight shoes and shoes featuring a tapered shape at the toes as well as little padded shoes are all responsible in worsening this pain. This may be caused by intense and heightened impact during running or standing for long periods as well as weak connective tissue and weak ligaments.
Metatarsalgia – treatment
The way you care for feet affected by metatarsalgia is just as important as the medical, physical and surgical treatments for the ailment. By supporting the transverse arch of the foot, the space between the toes can return to normal and the pressure on the nerves is reduced.