Diabetic Foot Care Advice

The aim of this blog is to help members of the public to understand their feet better. However the information on this blog should never be regarded as medical advice. Readers with foot problems are strongly encouraged to visit their GP if not the podiatrist for further medical assessment and treatment.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Morton's Neuroma - Morton's Neuralgia

Neuroma is the thickening or growth of nerve tissues that can develop in various parts of your body. Morton’s neuroma is the most common neuroma that occurs in your foot. This usually takes place in the third interspace, which is at the base and in between your third and fourth toes. It is also referred to as Intermetatarsal neuroma. Intermetatarsal, means the ball of your foot that is between the metatarsal bones. These are the length of your bones from toes to the midfoot.

Make no mistake because this kind of neuroma may also occur in other parts of your foot. It can also occur in the second and third interspace of your toes. Other known names are Morton’s metatarsalgia, Morton’s neuralgia, and plantar neuroma.

You can get Morton’s neuroma by often wearing tight fitting shoes, especially on the toe box part, or wearing high-heeled shoes that cause your toes to be pushed more in your shoes’ toe box. If you have common foot deformities such as bunions, hammertoes, or if you are flat-footed, you are also at a higher risk to develop a neuroma. Other causes of this swelling of the nerve are sports and activities that involve repetitive and excessive pressure to the ball of your foot, like jogging and playing racquet sports. But Morton’s neuroma can also develop for unknown reasons. You may have moved your foot abnormally and you can already get Morton’s neuroma if it’s that bad.

You will know it is Morton’s neuroma when it causes a sharp, burning pain in the ball of your foot, or if you feel that something is inside it, with accompanied stinging and burning, or even numbness of your toes. There will be no sign of lumps in your foot. These symptoms begin gradually, but you will feel the pain for several days or even weeks if this gets worse overtime.

You can treat the early stages of Morton’s neuroma even without a surgery, depending on the case of the swelling of the nerve. You can change the kind of shoes you are wearing by choosing wide toe boxes and by avoiding narrow-toed shoes. Avoid high heels as well. You should also modify your activities that may be causing stress to your foot. For moderate cases, you can do padding techniques, which can lessen the pressure on the neuroma and thereby decreasing compression of the nerve whenever you walk. Placing an icepack is also a quick and easy remedy that will decrease the swelling of the affected area. Anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen can also quickly lessen the pain, and more importantly, the inflammation of the nerve in your foot.

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