Foot pain should never be ignored. Unfortunately, some people do ignore it and often miss the chance to receive non-surgical treatment that could alleviate the pain. Conditions, such as Morton's neuroma, are easily treated, but only if you get help as soon as possible. If you are experiencing pain between your third and fourth toes, there is a possibility that you have Morton's neuroma.
What Causes Morton's Neuroma?
Morton's neuroma is a condition that causes nerve tissue in your foot to thicken. The thickened tissue can lead to irritation of the nerves in your foot, which can result in you feeling pain and burning. You might even have a sensation that makes it feel as if a rock is in your shoe.
The thickened tissue can develop from wearing high-heeled shoes, having bunions, or having flat feet. The condition can also develop from foot trauma or repetitive activities, such as running.
What Can You Do?
The first step in recovering from Morton's neuroma is to get a proper diagnosis from your podiatrist. Once it is confirmed, your doctor will likely recommend non-surgical treatments to get relief from your symptoms.
For instance, if you wear high heels, now is the time to consider changing to a more sensible shoe. Depending on the progression of the condition, your podiatrist might recommend wearing orthotic devices. The devices will help to reduce some of the pressure that is being placed on the nerves in your foot.
For quick pain relief, over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, can be effective. However, your doctor could prescribe a stronger pain reliever if the over-the-counter drugs are not enough.
At home, you can use an ice pack to help reduce the swelling. Do not apply heat. Heat promotes circulation of the blood in the foot, which can trigger swelling.
Will You Need Surgery?
In most instances, surgery is not needed to treat Morton's neuroma. However, when non-surgical efforts fail to provide relief, there are several surgical procedures that could be recommended. The surgery can be used to cut out a portion of the nerve so that it is not impacted by the thickened tissue in your foot.
Your doctor could also choose to remove some of the tissue that is compressing the nerve. The recovery time for the procedures can vary. Your doctor can provide you with an estimated time period and discuss other options that you might have.