Characterized by pain affecting the ball of the foot, Morton's neuroma is a condition caused by the thickening of tissue surrounding a nerve that leads to the toes. While it can be quite uncomfortable, it's fortunately also preventable and treatable.
What Are the Symptoms of Morton's Neuroma?
People who have this condition often say that they feel like they are standing on a pebble. The sharp, burning pain most often affects the area between the third and fourth toes and may also cause a stinging or numb feeling in the toes themselves.
What Causes These Symptoms?
When the nerve tissue thickens, inflammation causes pain signals that travel to the toes. This condition often develops among those who frequently wear high-heeled or tight-fitting shoes, those who participate in high-impact athletic activities, and those who have existing foot problems that put pressure on the toes, such as bunions, hammertoes, high arches, or flat feet.
How Is Morton's Neuroma Diagnosed and Treated?
The doctor will first examine the foot to determine whether a mass is present in the affected area. He or she may order diagnostic tests such as an x-ray, ultrasound, or MRI. If Morton's neuroma is detected, the first line of defense is to trade ill-fitting shoes for flat styles with a wide toe box. Orthotics and foot pads, either over-the-counter or custom-made, can be used to take pressure off the nerve and facilitate healing. Pain relief measures such as ice, massage, and rest can usually ease discomfort for those with Morton's neuroma. If these methods are ineffective, the doctor may recommend steroid injections, decompression surgery to remove the pressure on the nerve, or even complete removal of the affected nerve.
Can Morton's Neuroma Be Prevented?
Removing additional pressure on the toes can prevent most cases of this condition. Avoid wearing uncomfortable shoes such as high heels and discontinue wearing shoes that cause pain or compression of the toes.
In the New Albany area, patients can trust New Albany Family Footcare when they are experiencing foot pain. Our experienced team provides comprehensive services to diagnose and treat Morton's neuroma and other issues that compromise mobility and well being. Call 614-656-7094 today to request an appointment.
While running is a great way to exercise, proper foot care both at home and with regular visits to a podiatrist is essential to prevent injury. Here are six foot care tips for runners to keep in mind.
1. Choose the Right ShoesProperly fitting running sneakers are the first line of defense against injury. Shoes that don't fit right can cause painful blisters, bunions, corns, calluses, blackened toenails, and other issues. Visit a shoe-fitting specialist or a dedicated running shop to ensure that your running sneakers fit the way they should.
2. Replace Them RegularlyRunning sneakers are designed to last for about 500 miles; after that, they no longer provide the support needed to protect your feet from injury. Runners who are heavier, taller, or have an irregular gait may need new sneakers more often. Prolong the life of your shoes by keeping them dry and storing them indoors.
3. Cut Toenails ProperlyToenails should be neither too short nor too long and trimmed straight across rather than into the corners to prevent the development of ingrown nails. This also protects against fungal infections, since organisms can enter the skin when damage occurs. If you notice signs of a fungus, such as discolored yellow or white nails, visit the podiatrist to prevent the infection from spreading.
4. Watch Your StrideStriking the ground improperly when you run not only slows you down, it can also lead to injury. Striking with the heels can cause plantar fasciitis and stress fractures. Switching to a forefoot stride protects the feet as well as the knees.
5. Schedule Time for RestProtect your feet against the stress of running by taking a break every other day to recuperate. After a run, massage your feet for at least 10 minutes to reduce pain and prevent injury. Try rolling a cold water bottle along the bottom of your feet to provide relief.
6. Prevent BlistersBlisters are the bane of runners, but they're also preventable with a few self-care tips. Moisturize feet after each shower or bath, making sure first to dry them completely. Choose socks that fit properly and are made from breathable, synthetic materials to reduce sweat accumulation during your run, especially during hot New Albany summers.
New Albany Family Foot Care can diagnose and treat running injuries and other issues of the foot and ankle. Our doctors
are well versed in caring for patients of all ages who have suffered sports-related injuries and offer comprehensive podiatry services
. If you're experiencing foot pain, make an appointment
LETS GET WALKING--PART 2
Now that you started a new exercise regimen and feeling good about doing something great for your body-- how do your feet feel? Are they comfortable in the shoes you use for exercise? Are the shoes supportive enough? Do the shoes offer enough cushion/shock absorption?
It is important for shoes to fit well and be comfortable. It is equally important that exercise shoes are equipped to handle the stress load you put on them. Wearing a pair of sandals or flip flops to walk in is a major NO-NO! There is no heel control in an open back shoe and therefore excessive heel roll out (pronation) is noted which leads to overuse and under stabilization of the pedal joints. This in turn leads to inflammation and pain of soft tissue and joints. The excessive pronation causes joints and soft tissue to function outside their prescribed roles.
Shoes such as KEDS are nice and cute but offer no support or means of shock absorption. They are like wearing ballet slippers to run in. Once again it is important to take the appropriate amount of time to find that perfect pair of shoes for you. There are many brands and styles to choose from but it does not mean every pair of shoes will work for you.
What I find helpful, is to look at the shape of your foot (have someone outline the shape of your foot on paper) and compare its shape to the shoe last (shoe shape). If they are similar that may be the shoe for you. What you have identified is that your foot has a certain shape. Whether it is straight or curved it should match the shape of the shoe. Following this line of thought increases the chance for a comfortable wear.
Lastly, buy your shoegear after 3-4 p.m. this will ascertain a truer fit. As the day progresses, the foot may swell slightly and the shoe you buy in the a.m. may not be as comfortable by the end of the day.
I can give you many examples of which brand or style of shoe is best to use and/or stay away from—but that task would be arduous and take more than a few paragraphs. I hope you take this one point home with you—in order for an exercise shoe to function properly for you it must--be a great fit, provide adequate support and shock absorption capabilities as well as look and feel great. Consult your podiatrist for further information as well as a salesperson with a great knowledge base.
Until next time, be good to your feet and each other!
Warmest of Wishes,
Mark E. Barnhart, DPM, FACFAS
LET'S GET WALKING-PART I
We want to get in shape so that we will feel better, look better and live longer-right? Of course that is right. We all know getting into shape does not occur overnight nor with just one gigantic workout session.
To get into shape you don’t have to spend a great deal of money nor buy expensive equipment--you have the best equipment around--YOUR FEET. That’s right your feet. Walking is one of the best exercises one can do to get into shape. Most times it is just walking out your front door and strolling the neighborhood.
Before beginning your workout regimen speak with your family doctor to ensure there are no limitations with your activity level. When initiating a new regimen begin slowly and increase time and distance gradually over a few weeks. It is important to vary your workouts--doing one single exercise regimen 5 times a week gets rather tedious and monotonous. Therefore, when doing a walking program consider walking in the park, in the mall, around the neighborhood and yes even in your living room with a DVD. This varies the surroundings and keeps things a little more interesting and fresh.
Prior to working out a crucial point to consider is what your feet are wearing. Every foot is not made the same nor is every shoe --therefore choose wisely. There are a great deal of athletic shoes to choose from--one for each type of activity ie walking, running, cross training etc. It is important to get the right shoe for you. Lets keep it simple-- I feel that a good quality running shoe tends to work best for a walking regimen. A running shoe has great support, it is lightweight and allows for increased biomechanical control. A walking shoe tends to be too heavy, bulky and clunky. A cross training shoe tends to not offer the support or shock absorption I find necessary-- what it offers in one area it lacks in another. Before starting your walking program consider speaking with your podiatrist concerning your foot type and what shoe brand and/or style would be the best for you.
As stated, begin your walking regimen slowly and build on it weekly. When increasing time or distance make it gradual so it is not stressful on your joints and soft tissue. And most of all make it FUN. Until next time, be successful, and be good to each other and to your feet.
Warmest of Wishes!
OH MY ACHING TOE!
How many times while walking have you stubbed your toe on the corner wall or on a piece of furniture? Or have fallen or dropped something on the foot? O’Boy does it hurt! How many of you actually followed up with your Podiatrist? Did the incident fracture the toe or just cause a great deal of pain, swelling and bruising? If the pain, swelling and bruising lasts longer than 3-4 days or pain is severe enough to interfere with your gait, you most likely fractured the toe.
Fortunately, a way to evaluate for a fracture is to perform X-rays. X-ray exams can easily determine the extent of damage and allow for proper treatment plans to be determined. Your podiatrist will be able to perform this exam easily in their office and determine if the fracture requires realignment.
See your Podiatrist as soon as possible to implement a treatment regimen for your sore foot. RICE therapy (rest, ice ’20 minutes per hour”, compression, elevation) is usually the first instruction you will receive. This helps to reduce the swelling, pain and inflammation. NSAIDs help to reduce the pain and inflammation as well. For toe fractures which are stable and nondisplaced-- the most common treatment is immobilization. Your Podiatrist will perform this measure and instruct performing this until point tenderness is resolved. If there is malalignment, adjustment of the toe by the physician must be performed and the reduced fracture splinted. After manipulation Xrays will be taken to compare to the initial Xrays to determine correct alignment.
It is imperative to have a podiatric evaluation of toe fractures to ensure proper position and promote healing of the fracture. Until next time be good to your feet and each other.
Warmest of Wishes,
Dr. Mark E. Barnhart, FACFAS