Morton's neuroma, nerve entrapments and metarasalgia

Posted by Daniel Fitzpatrick on March 3, 2013

Are you experiencing foot pain under the forefoot? Have you stopped wearing heels recently as they hurt too much in the middle section of your foot? Morton’s neuroma and nerve entrapments just might be why. Good news, they are all treatable at Alternative Foot Solutions Podiatry!

Understanding three unique foot pain issues

1. Morton’s neuroma

A Morton’s neuroma is an entrapped digital (toe) nerve between the third and forth metatarsals. As a common cause of foot pain, symptoms include—but are not restricted to—sharp shooting foot pain and/or dull ache, which becomes particularly painful with increased weight bearing activity, from wearing high heels, or from a shoe with a narrow toe box that places pressure around the toes and/or the metatarsals.

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2. Nerve entrapments

Nerve entrapments can technically refer to the entrapment or impingement of any nerve, and are another common form of foot pain. This usually occurs around the digital (toe) area, but doesn’t necessarily occur in a specific portion of the metatarsal area. Nerve entrapments may occur all over the body, but most commonly in the lower limbs.

3. Metarasalgia

Metarasalgia is another common foot pain condition that involves the metatarsal pahalangeal joint, and is an inflammation of the joints itself, rather than the nerve. The reason we mention it here is that it may present very similar symptoms of foot pain as a digital nerve entrapment, but does not necessarily involve inflammation to the digital nerve.

First we establish the cause of the foot pain

At Alternative Foot Solutions podiatry, we offer a range of treatments for all of three conditions. This is important because Morton’s neuroma’s, nerve entrapments and metatarsalgia cause foot pain in a very wide range of people, with different treatment needs. Before deciding upon the relevant treatment, the patient is assessed by the podiatrist so that the underlying cause is established:

Biomechanics is a leading cause

In a majority of cases at Alternative Foot Solutions Podiatry, we find that biomechanics is a significant cause of Morton’s neuroma, nerve entrapments, and metatarsalgia. Biomechanics refers to the way that your body moves brought your natural gait cycle. Due to a patient’s biomechanics, there may be a dropping of the metatarsals, thus making the joints and digital nerves inflamed due to increased pressure being placed on these areas from the way you walk.

Footwear choice is the next culprit

Other causes of Morton’s neuroma, nerve entrapments and metatrasalgia may be from footwear, such as heels (which we can help with), or shoes that are too tight fitting (time for some new shoes!). At our podiatry clinic, we provide podiatry treatments that work with our patient’s footwear choices, rather than having to restrict patients wearing certain types of preferred shoes out right. Still, avoiding too high a heel, and leaving enough room for your toes to move is a great method to reduce symptoms.

Your foot arch may have dropped over the years

A dropped metatarsal arch, as discussed above, is a common cause of irritation and foot pain. This is where naturally over time one or more of the metatarsals start to drop toward the plantar (bottom) surface of the foot. Your foot dynamically changes over the course of your life, which is why we all need to visit a podiatrist every once in a while, even if not experiencing acute foot pain.

Now the good news: Treatments can be similar for all three conditions, and they are highly effective

Foot mobilisation podiatry

Foot mobilisation podiatry is gentle hands on technique that improves both the function and alignment of the joints of the feet, by removing the cross colagenous restrictions that may occur in a joint. The podiatrists at Alternative Foot Solutions podiatry work with the patient to improve the function of internal structures around the joint—like your muscles and connective tissue—to support the changes the podiatrist is making with the foot mobilisation podiatry.

The great aspect of this process is that the change is a corrective therapy—rather than an accommodative therapy—so the patient isn’t reliant on an external device, such as an othortic, that many women can not wear due to footwear choices. Consider the footwear restrictions that can be involved with other therapies, and foot mobilisation podiatry stands out as the best overall approach for correcting your foot pain.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture therapy stimulates specific neurological points (called meridians) to stimulate healing and improve function. Acupuncture generally doesn’t hurt, and at Alternative Foot Solutions podiatry we only consider it as a treatment option if you feel comfortable with it.

Acupuncture is particularly helpful with either a Morton’s neuroma, nerve entrapment or metatarsaligia because of the immediate effect acupuncture has on the nervous system; as nerves are causing the pain and discomfort, so we are treating the root of the problem.

Alternative Foot Solutions is here to help you, so call us today on (02) 8966 9300 to discuss your podiatry needs.

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