What self-help measures can I consider to treat my Morton's neuroma?
The London Podiatry Centre would generally recommend an opinion from our Centre in order to establish a correct diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan. If not tried, conservative care will always be recommended and examples include:
- There is no doubt that certain shoes can benefit patients whilst others will aggravate the condition. It is by no coincidence that approximately 80% of neuroma sufferers are women and this is likely to be the result of footwear. Shoes that may help symptoms include Fit Flops™, particularly during the summer months and many patients can remain symptom-free with this type of sandal. Shoes which incorporate a degree of memory foam may be beneficial and here various commercial brands are available. Slip-on shoes by nature of their design are usually tighter and more likely to irritate. It is also important to consider shoes which are not too flat. A shoe with a slight heel raise, of no more than 1cm, can reduce tension on the forefoot although excessively high heels will have an adverse effect and would likely irritate a Morton's neuroma.
- Cushioning is important and a variety of off-the-shelf insoles which incorporate padding can be bought from most local chemists. However, custom devices are more likely to afford benefit than pre made, non specific devices. For specific advice we would advise you contact The Centre.
- Some patients find that placing a small wedge between the symptomatic toes can reduce compression on the nerve. At The Centre we produce a customised form of wedge (interdigital silicon device). Simple foam wedges can also be purchased from a chemist.
- There can be an association between tight calf muscles and the development of a Morton's neuroma. For this reason it is a good idea to stretch your calf muscles by leaning against the wall. Formal advice can be provided by our Centre.
- Avoid activities which are likely to aggravate the neuroma. However, this may not be convenient as such activities could be associated with specific professions or sports.
- Avoid crouching, as this tends to compress the forefoot and try to do more exercises of a non-weight-bearing or reduced weight-bearing nature.
- Medication can be taken such as Ibuprofen or paracetamol. However, all drugs have the potential to cause side-effects and some are contraindicated in certain medical conditions. The Centre would only advocate the use of certain drugs after a consultation but this approach rarely offers a long term solution.