If you're feeling a sharp pain between your third and fourth toes you may have developed a foot condition called Morton's Neuroma. What's that you wonder? It's a problem caused by any irritation which leads to thickening of tissue surrounding the nerve that travels to the third and fourth toes.
Recent research at the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh found that Morton's neuroma has climbed by 115% percent (more than doubled) in women between 40 and 69 in the past 10 years. Women who wore high heels greater than 2 inches were at greater risk.
Although it's true that high heels are often the culprit--neuromas are 8-10 times more likely to develop in women than men--avoiding heels isn't the only way to prevent this condition. Men and woman who wear shoes that are too tight or have a narrow toe box or participate in sports activities such as running are also more likely to develop this painful condition.
But no need to worry. At the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City we've helped men and women resolve this problem hundreds of times.
Of course as a Seattle podiatrist my first recommendation will be to limit your high heel use. But even if you don't refrain there are several other solutions to this problem.
Ice - to initially relieve the pain and swelling. We recommend 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off a couple of times a day.
Ball of Foot Pad - a ball of foot pad or metatarsal pad can provide the support the foot needs to prevent the metatarsals or base of your toes from becoming cramped. This can help prevent the pinching of nerves between the bones.
Orthotics - when metatarsal pads are insufficient custom orthotics are used to more precisely support the metatarsals. A custom metatarsal pad is incorporated into the orthotics.
Roomier shoes - if your shoes are squeezing your feet, purchase shoes with a wider toe box. Be sure you get the proper fit for running shoes as well dress shoes.
Cortisone injections - our office uses guided cortisone injections to help relieve neuroma pain.
MLS laser therapy - MLS laser is a cold laser that is very effective in reducing the pain and inflammation in Morton's neuroma. This therapy uses dual wavelengths of infrared light to penetrate deep into the tissue and stimulate regeneration at the cellular level.
Finally surgery is an option, but it doesn't work 100% of the time.
Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.