What Are The Best Workout Routines For Morton’s Neuroma?

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What Are The Best Workout Routines For Morton’s Neuroma?

Morton’s Neuroma Quick Overview

It is a condition where the nerve leading to the toes thickens as a result of repeated pressure being applied to the ball of the foot.

There may be many causes of Morton’s Neuroma but the most common are:

  • Wearing ill-fitting shoes especially those with a narrow toe box.
  • Injury from repeated pressure from activities like running.

Here Are The Most Common Signs And Symptoms Of Morton’s Neuroma

Women are more likely to get Morton’s neuroma than men because of wearing high heels for long periods of time at work.

Morton’s Neuroma pain can be so debilitating that working out seems like an impossible dream. Understandably so because our feet carry us throughout everything including the exercise routines. If working out means aggravating the pain, then there is no point.

However,  there are some forgiving routines you can still do to stay active and healthy. I have Morton’s Neuroma but I cannot imagine my life without working out!

So, today I’m going to share with you the types of exercises you can do and those that you need to avoid. This information is based on my own personal experience. It is by no means a  prescription. What works for me may not necessarily work for someone else. But I believe there will be some commonality and you can benefit from these tips.

Exercises For Morton’s Neuroma

These are specifically for alleviating neuroma pain and they don’t involve any impact whatsoever. Their purpose is to strengthen your foot muscles for better posture and to calm the pain.

1. Calf, Lower Leg &  Achilles Muscle Stretching

Standing against the wall, place one foot to the front and make a tiny tiptoe. Gently bounce up and down ensuring that your calf muscles and Achilles tendon are stretched. Repeat on the other leg.

2. Plantar Fascia Stretching

Morton's Neuroma Exercises - Foot stretch

This is done by taking your heel in one hand and place the other hand under the ball of your foot and toes. Gently pull back the front of your foot and the toes towards your shin. Alternatively, you can use a towel as shown in the picture.

There are many variations to this exercise. You can also do it while standing and leaning against the wall or anything that offers enough support.

3. Foot Roller

Foot stretching and rolling back and forth with a foot roller/ball. This can be done while sitting on a chair or even standing.


Morton's Neuroma Exercises - Plantar Rolling

Here is a brief video showing some simple exercises for Morton’s Neuroma Pain

Exercise Routines You Can Do If You Have Morton’s Neuroma

Here I refer to other bodily workout routines meant to keep you fit overall.

1. Bike Riding

This routine places less impact on your feet especially if you opt for an easy ride. I personally prefer the stationary bike because it gives me control. I choose low-tension rides with resting intervals. I noticed that I don’t feel any pain if I do short sessions of 15 – 20 minutes. High tension or longer sessions always bring me pain. For this reason, I use the bike as a  warm-up routine.

2. Swimming / Aqua Aerobics

Probably the best exercise not only for people with Morton’s Neuroma. Swimming is less impact yet is can really work your body out and burn those unwanted calories.

Exercises For Morton's Neuroma - Aqua Aerobics

Now, aqua aerobics is just great because it gives you much more workout than just swimming. With aqua aerobics, you get all the benefits of aerobics but with no harm on your feet, joints and muscles. The water supports you and helps you build strength. There is less gravity impact on your body and this allows you to perform a wide range of motions.

3. Light Weight Lifting

This is another great workout if you ensure that you don’t lift heavy. It is my main routine for weight management and building strength.

Exercises For Morton's Neuroma - Light Weight Lifting

It is important to stick to manageable weight according to your strength levels to avoid putting too much weight on your feet.

Remember your feet are already carrying your body weight.

4. Yoga

It can actually double as body workout and can also target foot and lower leg muscles that we discussed earlier. However, for me, there are some yoga poses that I often find a bit challenging because they bring me horrible toe cramps. I try not to hold such poses for long. The Cobra pose, Child’s pose, Shukasna pose among others.

Exercises For Morton's Neuroma - Pilates

5. Pilates

In comparison to yoga, pilates is also considerably low impact and involves a lot of muscle stretching. However, unlike in yoga where you hold poses, in pilates, you keep moving throughout the position but not anything hectic enough to cause damage. Overall pilates is another great low impact workout routine you can do with Morton’s Neuroma.

Exercise Routines To Avoid If You Have Morton’s Neuroma

This will depend on a number of factors such as your own pain tolerance levels, stage of your neuroma and importantly on the type of shoes you exercise in. Some people can run with the neuroma. But I am certain there is a general consensus the following exercises can aggravate Morton’s Neuroma and should be avoided.

1. Long-distance walks

2. Running

3. Jumping jacks

4. High impact aerobics

5. Jump rope

Basically any high impact routine that puts pressure on your feet is worth avoiding. Listen to your feet and don’t push them beyond what they can take.

Final Thoughts

I know how hard this can be to have to abandon some of your exercise routines because of pain. It’s even more difficult if you are used to working out. I often disobey and do step aerobics.

I have come to learn that if I don’t go on for too long, I actually don’t get any pain.  Every day is a learning experience.

I have completely given up jogging. No more treadmill. No jumping of any sort. I have to walk but I avoid prolonged walking.

Bottom line, for any type of work out you do, please try not to put your feet under too much pressure. It is very important to wear comfortable shoes.

Before and after your workout, it helps a great deal to do proper foot stretching and massage. Just to make sure that your muscles warm up and relax well.

Soaking your feet in warm water after a workout also helps. Anything to show your feet some well-deserved love.

Thanks for reading.

I hope you found this post useful.

I would like to hear about your experiences. Please share your go-to workout routines and advise which other exercises to avoid.


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