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Old 07-26-2011, 10:23 AM   #1
Lawrence "Bo" Boland III
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Morton's Neuroma

Does anyone have any experience with Morton's Neuroma?

I'll try and make my story quick...

Been generally lifting and doing CF for 2 years. Bought into the whole minimalist/barefoot movement about 1yr ago and have been wearing Terraplana Vivobarefoot daily to work. I don't run a ton, but when I do, it's with VFF's. In Jan/Feb, I had a sore foot (pad of the foot, toward the outside). I ignored it for awhile and finally went to the doctor when I was hobbling. Sonogram of the foot shows a Neuroma between the 3rd and 4th metatarsal.

Doc gives me metatarsal pads, and tells me to ice it like crazy and come back in 6-8 weeks if it's not better.

I have been doing so, and it IS a bit better, but I have been scared to death to put ANY weight on it (squats, deads, running, etc) as even long walks like a hike or long urban trek will leave it sore the next day.

Currently I am doing the following daily:
- Taking 4g fish oil daily
- Ice massaging the top and bottom between the 3rd and 4th metatarsal
- doing foot stretches like toe curls (front and back) and strengthening the calves (read that this helps the arch of the foot)
- Massaging the ligaments with a lacrosse ball
- Wearing an arch support inside my shoe (I know, I know)

I was just curious if anyone had experience with this issue. The stories I read online are terrible. People seem to have this issue FOREVER and it often leads to surgery which seems only 50% successful at helping.
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Old 07-26-2011, 10:59 AM   #2
Vickie Ellickson
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Re: Morton's Neuroma

I was diagnosed with a Morton's neuroma as well (after being diagnosed with many other things ). Been dealing with this for 5+ years.

Started with custom orthotics, which provided some relief but pain still persisted if I ran enough.

Had surgery last year to remove the nerve/neuroma. Some relief, but pain still persists with enough activity.

I also have hammer toe, so the joints banging up and down might be the source of my current discomfort. Now I tape the first joint of the angry toe down and I'm also experimenting with putting rolled padding under the last four toes to keep them from bumping around. Having some success with that.

I'm no doctor, but here's my opinion on your situation, based on my experience:

IF you have a neuroma, lifting shouldn't bother it. For deads and squats, your weight should be on your heels anyway.

I would focus more on stretching your lower calf muscle and working on flexibility there than making the calf muscles stronger. I've been doing more stretching/flexibility work and it seems to have helped.

If your neuroma was caused by less-than-ideal bone structure in your foot (as mine was), I don't think VFFs are a good way to go. My doctors waffle on whether I really need arch support, but they said no way to VFFs and all of them agree that I need shoes with solid arch support.

Can you describe the pain in more detail and when it occurs?
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Old 07-26-2011, 11:22 AM   #3
Lawrence "Bo" Boland III
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Re: Morton's Neuroma

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Originally Posted by Vickie Ellickson View Post
Can you describe the pain in more detail and when it occurs?
Mostly when I wear high heels. Kidding kidding. I read that this was predominantly a problem with women who wear heels, and thought it was funny.

It's hard to pinpoint a specific activity. It mostly only ever hurts the day after a lot of activity (walking or hiking). I've worn "barefoot" shoes for over a year now, and I read a study that stated people have gotten neuroma's if their arch isn't strong enough, which causes some weird rotational force in the forefoot.

I just started wearing an arch support insert inside my barefoot shoes the other day. So far so good.

Edit: Also, the doc did say he was surprised that I had no pain in between my 2nd and 3rd toes. He said the metatarsal heads were very close together. So, it appears my foot IS less than ideal
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Old 07-26-2011, 12:09 PM   #4
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Re: Morton's Neuroma

I realized a portion of my last post didn't make much sense...what I was trying to say is that the doctors don't necessarily agree on whether I need orthotics, but they do agree that vertical arch support in footwear is necessary.

Seems like the pain occurs after the activity and not during? What activities cause it? Is it a sharp, nervy type pain on the forefoot that radiates to the toes or is it more of an ache?
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Old 07-26-2011, 12:32 PM   #5
Lawrence "Bo" Boland III
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Re: Morton's Neuroma

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vickie Ellickson View Post
I realized a portion of my last post didn't make much sense...what I was trying to say is that the doctors don't necessarily agree on whether I need orthotics, but they do agree that vertical arch support in footwear is necessary.

Seems like the pain occurs after the activity and not during? What activities cause it? Is it a sharp, nervy type pain on the forefoot that radiates to the toes or is it more of an ache?
It's more of an ache, and yes it is usually well after (the next day) any activity. It's been hard to pinpoint. I've mostly stopped working out the past 2 months, and it only every gets sore if I walk a lot in a day and/or forget to do an ice massage or stretching.

I'm hoping that these arch supports do help a lot.
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Old 07-26-2011, 01:10 PM   #6
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Re: Morton's Neuroma

I only had the dull, achy pain once in a great long while.

If you have the resources, I'd get a second opinion, preferably from an orthopaedic surgeon that has a foot/ankle specialty.

I hope the arch support, stretching and icing do the trick for you.
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Old 07-26-2011, 03:20 PM   #7
Steven Low
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Re: Morton's Neuroma

These are the types of issues where orthotics are necessary sometimes, but generally they aren't necessary.

Some foot massage/manipulation of the muscles and tissue in the arch of the foot may help alleviate some of the compacting between the metatarsal heads. But really depends on what's causing it.

If it was cause of compacting shoes then something like toe expanders may help out somewhat.

For example, wfs
http://www.amazon.com/Profoot-Care-F...pr_product_top

But yeah, pretty individualized in how they present and need ot be treated
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Old 07-27-2011, 05:21 AM   #8
Lawrence "Bo" Boland III
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Re: Morton's Neuroma

Right Steven. I've noticed that it definitely is very individualized.

The main shoes that I have been wearing have pretty much zero padding and have a very wide toe box... so, I think it has more to do with my movement.

I have been doing stretches that resemble using those toe spreaders, and it has been working out well.

Fingers (and toes) crossed!

P.S. Steven, it's been awhile since I've been on the forums... nice to see you're still around. Are you still up in school? If you're ever around DC, give a holler.
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Old 07-27-2011, 09:58 AM   #9
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Re: Morton's Neuroma

Yup I'm still around....

Shoot me a PM/FB with your number and I'llcall ya if I'm in VA anytime soon
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Old 07-27-2011, 11:44 AM   #10
Brent Sallee
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Re: Morton's Neuroma

Just to keep in mind... Morton's Neuroma frequently results when you extend at your toes too much due to a lack of ankle dorsiflexion. Orthotics may be indicated, but it may be alleviated (or the cause may be addressed) by stretching your calves (or performing soft tissue mobilization perpendicular and parallel to the muscle fiber direction if you have knots). The ice and metatarsal pads may be useful to alleviate symptoms in the meantime, but they don't address the reason why you have the pathology itself.

Barefoot shoes could quite possibly be the worst thing for you right now if you don't have proper dorsiflexion. Considering running shoes have a little bit of a heel and put you into plantarflexion, they would give you more room before you extended at your toes. In the meantime, you could run in shoes or you could stop running in the meantime. Many people aren't built for running barefoot, especially since shoes are so common nowadays - resulting in lacking motion. You have to prepare yourself before you start barefoot running - it's not a panacea that fixes all foot problems. Make sure you have proper ankle musculature strength, range of motion, etc and no significant foot deformities before you return to running barefoot.

Last edited by Brent Sallee; 07-27-2011 at 11:47 AM..
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