dr. thomas mcdonald foot and ankle specialist

4 Ways You’re Making Your Morton’s Neuroma Worse

Morton’s neuroma is a relatively common foot condition that occurs when tissue that surrounds one of the nerves leading to your toes ends up thickening. This tissue thickening can irritate or compress the nerve, leading to general discomfort in the forefoot. The most common location for a neuroma to develop is in the third or fourth toes, and it can feel like you’re stepping on a small pebble every time you put pressure on your foot.

Symptoms of a Morton’s neuroma tend to respond well to treatment, but the condition can also worsen if you practice certain bad habits. In today’s blog, we explore some of the ways you may unknowingly be causing your Morton’s neuroma to persist or worsen so that you can take corrective steps.

Actions That Make Morton’s Neuroma Worse

If it feels like you’re stepping on a small stone every step you take, you make notice that discomfort fades if you avoid some of these lifestyle habits.

  1. Poor Footwear Choices – Shoes help to protect and support our feet, and if you’re constantly shoving your foot into a high heel or any uncomfortable or unsupportive shoe, excessive pressure will be exerted on your foot. Oftentimes this pressure is greatest in the forefoot, where neuromas develop. This extra strain and pressure can exacerbate tissue thickening and cause more trouble for the affected nerve. Limit your time in high heels or shoes with limited support, and strive to spend more time in flat-soled shoes with a wider toe box that supports the shape and arch or your foot. Getting your feet in the right footwear can go a long way in relieving discomfort from a neuroma.
  2. Excess Weight – The more you weigh, the more stress your feet are under with every step you take. We don’t expect you to shed a bunch of weight overnight, but if you can lose just a little weight, you can take a lot of stress off your feet, and this can help to calm neuroma symptoms. Being heavier can make your neuroma worse, so working towards a healthy weight can help to treat and protect against a neuroma.
  3. High-Impact Activities – If you hope to lose weight in order to help treat your Morton’s neuroma, you’ll want to be smart about the types of activities you pursue. Certain high impact activities like running or jumping will put excessive strain on your feet, which can irritate and inflame the already-thickened tissue. There are plenty of ways to stay active and pursue exercise while you’re working to overcome a neuroma without putting a high amount of stress on your feet. Activities like walking, swimming or cycling can help you get your exercise for the day without repeatedly traumatizing your feet.
  4. Excessive Time On Your Feet – We want you to be active, but it may be helpful to spend a little less time on your feet during the early stages of Morton’s neuroma treatment. Even if you’re not pursuing high impact activities, being on your feet for the majority of the day can cause a neuroma to worsen. We don’t want you to become overly sedentary during this time, but being a little more cognizant of giving your feet some time off from the pressure they feel when you’re up and moving can help to calm uncomfortable symptoms.

Whether you need help treating a neuroma or another foot issue, we’re here for you. For more information or to set up your first appointment with his team, give Dr. McDonald’s office a call today at (860) 244-8889.

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