Little will make you appreciate what it’s like to have comfortable feet more than a painful Morton’s neuroma – also simply known as a neuroma. Although this common condition doesn’t always cause bothersome symptoms, neuromas cause a burning, sharp pain in the ball of the foot for many people. You might also develop stinging sensations or numbness in your affected toes.
Caused by a thickening of tissue around a nerve leading to one of your toes, Morton’s neuroma is treatable. And changing your lifestyle can help.
At Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle in Wheat Ridge and Arvada, Colorado, Drs. Matthew Paden, Dustin Kruse, and Brett Saches apply their years of experience and expertise in diagnosing and treating neuromas to ease your pain.
Here, we explore several lifestyle habits that make Morton’s neuroma symptoms worse.
1. Wearing uncomfortable, unsupportive shoes
The shoes you wear can make all the difference in the frequency and severity of your neuroma pain. Narrow, pointy shoes, for example, can squeeze the ball of your foot, triggering or worsening a flare-up.
High heels, too, can fuel neuroma symptoms. The tall, angular shoes force your feet into unnatural positions. And many experts blame the popularity of high-heeled-shoes for increasing cases of neuromas.
Aim instead for comfortable, supportive shoes that fit you well and allow your feet to move and support you in natural positions.
2. Ignoring excess pounds
When your body holds more weight than your frame can healthfully carry, you run the risk of developing a neuroma and experiencing ongoing related pain. Those added pounds add stress to your feet while raising your risk for inflammation in your tendons and pain in your feet.
To turn these issues around, aim for 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of intense aerobic exercise each week. Meanwhile, eat a balanced, nutritious diet. Swap out low-nutrient foods like white bread for whole-grain alternatives. And emphasize filling, fiber-rich foods, like vegetables, fruits, and legumes, in your meals.
3. Sticking to high-impact workouts
Not all types of exercise are created equal, in terms of neuroma pain. High-impact activities like jumping and running, add more strain on your joints and feet than lower-impact exercises, like biking, swimming, and walking.
If you enjoy higher-impact exercise most, vary your routine so that you aren’t putting that stress on your feet daily. Wear proper shoes, and avoid those activities on especially hard surfaces, like cement.
4. Ignoring your foot pain
Lifestyle changes alone aren’t always enough for addressing neuroma pain. Getting medical guidance for your neuroma can help ensure that your pain reduces rather than increases.
During an exam, your podiatrist at Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle Center will confirm the cause of your symptoms and recommend appropriate care. They may suggest taping the ball of your foot or custom orthotics. You may also benefit from an anti-inflammatory medication or corticosteroid injection.
To learn more about Morton's neuroma or to get the treatment you need, call Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle, or request an appointment through our website today.