NCTV Episode 89
Continuing with the series of bitesize health tip videos which can be found here on my YouTube Channel, this episode, includes:-
- What is PMR?
- The symptoms to look out for
- How it’s treated medically
- Self-care strategies
- Lifestyle changes to consider
If you’d prefer to read the content within, rather than watch the video, then feel free to read the transcript, as follows:-
Hello and welcome to NCTV Episode 89 which is all about Morton’s Neuroma.
In case you’ve never heard of it, Morton’s Neuroma is a condition that affects the foot, and can be quite painful and debilitating for those who experience it.
Essentially, it’s a non-cancerous growth or thickening of the tissue that surrounds one of the nerves leading to your toes, most commonly the nerve that runs between your third and fourth toes. This occurs when the nerve is pinched or compressed, leading to swelling and inflammation. This can cause a lot of discomfort and pain in the ball of your foot, and can make it difficult to walk or even stand for extended periods of time. It’s also eight times more common in women than men and being overweight can increase your risk of getting it.
So what actually causes Morton’s neuroma? The exact cause of this condition is not fully understood, but it is often associated with wearing tight or narrow shoes, high heels, or shoes with a tapered toe box can put pressure on the nerve and cause it to thicken. Other factors, such as foot deformities, having flat feet or high arches, or participating in high-impact activities that involve repetitive stress on the feet can also contribute to the development of Morton’s neuroma.
The most common symptom is a sharp, burning pain in the ball of your foot, often between your third and fourth toes. You may also feel a tingling or numbness in your toes, or a feeling like you’re standing on a stone or pebble even when you’re not. Inevitably this then causes pain or discomfort when walking, running, or standing for prolonged periods. For temporary relief, some people find that simply taking off their shoes, flexing their toes and giving their feet a massage can help.
So what can be done to treat Morton’s neuroma? There are a few different options, depending on the severity of the condition. In some cases, simply changing your footwear can help to relieve the pressure on the nerve and applying ice can reduce the symptoms. Custom orthotics, shoe inserts or pads issued by the likes or a podiatrist have been known to be helpful too and people may find symptomatic relief through over-the-counter pain medications.
Physical therapy can also be beneficial, as an osteopath, we’d look at how we can improve foot function and overall posture, whilst issuing certain stretching and strengthening exercises to help reduce pain and manage the condition.
In more severe cases, corticosteroid injections may be recommended to reduce inflammation and pain.
In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the neuroma and relieve symptoms. However, surgery should only be considered as a last resort.
In terms of prevention, this may not always be possible, however, you can reduce your risk by wearing comfortable shoes that have low heels, plenty of toe space and good arch support.
With proper treatment, the prognosis for Morton’s neuroma is typically good in around 80% of cases, although this largely depends on the amount of time you spend on your feet and your choice of footwear. Most people experience significant improvement in symptoms within several weeks to a few months but it can come and go. However, it is important to seek medical attention if you experience persistent or worsening pain or any other symptoms.
That’s it for this week’s bitesize bit to help your health flourish, I’ll see you next time!