‘Mortons Neuroma’, which is a nerve entrapment causing localised pain. In addition to pain, numbness between toes may be experienced, and in extreme cases swelling of the affected phalanges (toes) may occur.
Metatarsalgia is a general term used to describe pain in the ball of the foot. Usually the pain is located under the 2nd, 3rd or 4th metatarsal heads. Metatarsalgia is often caused by excessive pronation (arch collapse) and the resultant friction and shearing forces.
The underlying cause of Metatarsalgia and Mortons Neuroma is excessive pronation, which can weaken the soft tissue structures.
As the foot pronates the forefoot metatarsals plantarflex and rotate, resulting in loss of the transverse arch and shearing forces on the forefoot structures, causing pressure and pain to be experienced.
Metatarsalgia results in burning pain all over the ball of the foot. Patients may complain that it is like a stone bruise.
Mortons Neuroma is more localised pain, and in extreme cases the affected toe can swell and may need surgery to remove the entrapped nerve (surgery should however be the last resort).
Orthotics and Insoles may control pronation and reduce the rotation of the metatarsal shafts and elongation of the foot. An adjustable Toe prop and metatarsal pads can be used to redistribute pressure away from the damaged area.
Wearing tight fitting or high heeled shoes can escalate the pain, wide fitting shoes with a low heel or trainers are sensible everyday wear for sufferers of Mortons Neuroma.
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