Typically, there’s no outward sign of this condition, such as a lump. Instead, you may experience the following symptoms:
A feeling as if you’re standing on a pebble in your shoe
A burning pain in the ball of your foot that may radiate into your toes
Tingling or numbness in your toes
When to see a doctor
It’s best not to ignore any foot pain that lasts longer than a few days. See your doctor if you experience a burning pain in the ball of your foot that’s not improving, despite changing your footwear and modifying activities that may cause stress to your foot.
Morton’s neuroma seems to occur in response to irritation, pressure or injury to one of the nerves that lead to your toes.
Factors that appear to contribute to Morton’s neuroma include:
High heels. Wearing high-heeled shoes or shoes that are tight or ill fitting can place extra pressure on your toes and the ball of your foot.
Certain sports. Participating in high-impact athletic activities such as jogging or running may subject your feet to repetitive trauma. Sports that feature tight shoes, such as snow skiing or rock climbing, can put pressure on your toes.
Foot deformities. People who have bunions, hammertoes, high arches or flatfeet are at higher risk of developing Morton’s neuroma.
Treatment depends on the severity of your symptoms. Your doctor will likely recommend trying conservative approaches first.
Arch supports and foot pads fit inside your shoe and help reduce pressure on the nerve. These can be purchased over-the-counter, or your doctor may prescribe a custom-made, individually designed shoe insert — molded to fit the exact contours of your foot.
Another methods of resolution is surgical intervention.