Physical Therapy Treatment For Morton’s Neuroma

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There is a wide range of treatment methods for Morton’s Neuroma. These can be classified into 2 broad groups, namely (I) the conservative treatment options and (II) Non-conservative treatments.

Physical therapy is one of the conservative methods and comprises many different options. However, the bottom line is to help you get relief from Morton’s Neuroma pain without having to go under the knife.

Conservative treatments for Morton’s Neuroma work differently for different people. I guess you just have to keep trying different options until you find what works for you.

So, today I will be sharing with you some of the widely used physical therapy options which I have also used. I will also share some other options which I haven’t personally used but have been used by other people and they shared their own experiences. The whole purpose is to help you with a range of choices and try any method that you may be interested in.

Here we go…

Steps Involved:

1. Change Of Footwear

This is the number step toward pain relief. If you have been wearing the wrong type of shoes like high heels, narrow toe crowding shoes, you need to get rid of them and wear comfortable shoes. This move alone brings much more relief.

You can check out the Highly Recommended Shoes For Morton’s Neuroma Here

2. Elevate The Metatarsal Heads

This is meant to change the alignment of your metatarsal heads through the use of metatarsal footpads. The pads are placed directly behind the ball of your foot in order to create a slight elevation to the metatarsal heads. That elevation, in turn, eliminates the compression of your digital nerve.

Ideally, when you buy metatarsal pads there will be placement instructions but in my experience, you should be able to adjust the pad to fit your desired level of comfort. You can keep trying until when you get that position where you don’t feel any pain or discomfort.

Here is a short video of the famous Physical Therapists Bob Schrupp and Brad Heineck showing you the elevation technique

Other possible Physical Therapies

1.Deep Tissue Massage

I am a huge fan of deep tissue foot massage for the general benefits one can gain but mostly for that sweet relaxed feeling, it gives your foot.

For this method, it is vital that you engage a professional massage therapist and let them know that you have Morton’s Neuroma. It is important that they treat your foot nerves with utmost caution to avoid aggravating the neuroma.

Ideally, you should go for a massage when your neuroma is calm and not inflamed to avoid any pain. However, to fully realize the benefits of massage for Morton’s Neuroma, you can try when your neuroma is inflamed. If done properly, your pain will be gone when the massage is done.

Excessive prodding must be avoided as it can aggravate your pain. Instead, the massage techniques used must be geared towards relieving pressure and compression on your metatarsal heads.

2. Stretching Exercises

For this option, you can visit a reflexologist or any qualified therapist to give your feet a proper professional stretching. Or you can do it yourself. The most important aspect is to perform the right type of stretching – opening up your metatarsal heads and strengthening your foot muscles.

Here are a few suggested stretching exercises you can do:

  • Perform the toe extensor stretch – this is the stretching of the top of your foot done by gently bending all your toes and pushing as far as you can bear towards your heel. Physical Therapy Treatment For Morton's Neuroma - Toe Extensor Stretch
  • This stretching exercise can be done with your hands while seated or while standing up you can simply bend your foot at the toes to mimic the stretching in the picture above. The purpose of this exercise is to pull your foot’s fat pad back to its original position where it provides natural cushioning for the nerves.
  • Stretch your toes with toe separators – You can get yourself a pair of toe separators and wear them while resting. The purpose is to stretch and realign your toes back to their original form. Toe separators relieve the pressure between your toes and decrease compression on your neuroma.  You can wear them for 20-30 minutes daily and your toes will begin to realign, giving you substantial pain relief.

YogaToes is my highly recommended brand of toe separators. They are made of gel and come in pairs. They also come in other colors like pink and purple.

YogaToes Gems Stretcher Separator

  • Stretch your lower foot, plantar fascia and calf muscles regularly – you can do any of these whiles seated or standing, whichever way feels most comfortable for you. The whole idea is to strengthen your foot muscles and build foot stability. I use a mini massage ball just like this one:

Physical Therapy Treatment For Morton's Neuroma - Acuball Mini Massage Ball

3. Cryotherapy For Morton’s Neuroma

Cryotherapy involves the application of extremely low temperatures to the damaged nerve as a way to destroy it permanently. The opposite type of treatment would be heating the neuroma up in high temperature to destroy it. The Doctors at Center For Morton’s Neuroma in Massachusetts perform the Ultrasound-Guided Cryoablation to precisely target the neuroma and get rid of it.

4.Radiofrequency Ablation For Morton’s Neuroma

This is the opposite of cryotherapy. Instead of low temperatures, Radiofrequency Ablation employs high temperatures.
Radiofrequency ablation is a common procedure used on patients with chronic pain to eliminate the pain by heating up the nerves that send pain signals to the brain. In the case of Morton’s Neuroma, Ultrasound-guided Radiofrequency ablation is used to precisely heat up the neuroma up to 90 degrees Celcius to destroy its pain transmission.

You can read more on these procedures (Cryotherapy and Radiofrequency Ablation) from this article on the New Treatments For Morton’s Neuroma.

5. Dry Needling For Morton’s Neuroma? 

I would say, take this one with a grain of salt.  There are a few people with Morton’s Neuroma who told me that their physical therapists performed Dry Needling on their feet. They reported a slight improvement in their neuroma pain but it did not actually last for long.

According to my research, Dry needling seems to be more effective on muscle pain. I cannot dispute that it may have worked for some people suffering from Morton’s Neuroma though.

6. Acupuncture – Laser Acupuncture

Just like Dry Needling, there are some people who have tried acupuncture to treat Morton’s Neuroma. For those who fear needles, there is a laser acupuncture option.

The relief for most people is immediate but temporary. If you have Morton’s Neuroma, you always want to try out something that could possibly eliminate your pain. I, however, am yet to try acupuncture and possibly dry needling (I don’t know when that will be because I am dead scared of needles ;)).

7. Icing Therapy

This is essentially the placement of an icepack on your foot where you have a neuroma. I do this when I have a flare-up especially after a long day of activities. The icing significantly reduces the inflammation and gives me peace.

8. Hot Water Therapy

This one is my absolute favorite method when my neuroma pain has flared up. When I am not in the mood of icing I heat up the water and soak my feet for 10 minutes and the pain magically disappears. Then I proceed to massage my feet and rub them with a pain ointment. I get a peaceful night of zero throbbings.

Bottom Line

There are many different physical therapy treatments for Morton’s Neuroma out there. I  doubt that I have covered all of them. I always like experimenting with new conservative options and then sharing my experiences.

If you have anything that you know works, kindly share it in the comments below.

I wish you a pain-free life!

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