How Can A Physio Treat Morton’s Neuroma? – Alister Cran
What is Morton’s Neuroma?
Morton’s neuroma is the presence swelling and inflammation of the intermetatarsal plantar nerve. This nerve is located between two of the long bones of the foot. Usually this inflammation and swelling presents itself between the second and third metatarsal spaces (between the second/third or the third/fourth long bones of the foot). Someone who suffers from Morton’s neuroma can have a wide range of symptoms in the forefoot which include; pain, numbness, changes in sensation (paraesthesia), a feeling of walking on razor blades or even feeling like they have a rock in their shoe. During activities where a high amount of load is placed on the foot (eg. Running), a compressive force can be placed upon the metatarsal spaces of the foot, if this force is great enough and consistent enough, it can cause swelling and aggravation to the intermetatarsal plantar nerve.
Diagnosis of Morton’s Neuroma can be performed by your clinician. If direct palpation of the affected area or compression of the forefoot (Mulder’s sign) reproduces your symptoms, that is a good indication that you suffer from Morton’s neuroma. However, it is important to give your clinician a thorough history so as to rule out the possibility of any potential local bone or ligamentous injuries that may be presenting with similar symptoms.
Physiotherapy can successfully treat Morton’s neuroma. Because this condition is caused by consistent compression of the nerves between the long bones of the foot, your physiotherapist will work to minimise anything that causes these compressive forces. Treatment can include orthotic/metatarsal pad prescription, an exercise/pilates program aimed at improving your body’s biomechanics (how your foot hits/leaves the ground) and manual therapy to relieve local muscle tension and joint stiffness which may in turn be affecting your foot’s biomechanics. With appropriate physiotherapy intervention, treatment of Morton’s neuroma will take only a matter of weeks to a few months. If you have any concerns, do not hesitate to consult your physiotherapist and they will help guide you through your rehabilitation.
Alister Cran (APAM)
M. Physiotherapy / B. Exercise Science