There's a pebble in your shoe — or at least that's what it feels like. To top it off, you're in no small amount of pain. This is life with Morton's neuroma. Worse, you might think this foot condition has set you on a path headed straight for the operating table.
You know that surgery, no matter how routine, comes with risk. Fortunately, you have more options now than ever to deal with what's going on with your feet.
Here, Dr. Kelly Geoghan, our expert podiatrist, highlights your many nonsurgical treatment options.
Most modern shoes (especially fashionable ones, like high heels) squeeze your toes together unnaturally, putting pressure on the nerves and connective tissues and leading to problems like Morton's neuroma.
We recommend taking a closer look at your shoe collection and swapping out your flat, narrow, high-heeled shoes for options that provide adequate arch support, low profiles, shock-absorbing soles, and wide toe boxes.
Massages aren't just a luxurious spa treatment but also a viable therapy for many health problems, including Morton's neuroma. Massage techniques recommended for Morton's neuroma foster mobilization of your toes, pressure reduction, and pain relief.
Check in with us first before rubbing your feet, though. We can show you the best techniques that help you reap all the benefits without doing additional harm.
In addition to massage therapy, you may also benefit from physical therapy. A physical therapist can show you a variety of stretches and exercises that strengthen your feet and ankle and, as a result, take the pressure off your nerves.
Cold therapy is one of the most basic pain management methods. It reduces the amount of blood flow to reduce painful inflammation and swelling. It also temporarily reduces nerve activity, which can also relieve your pain.
Some of the most common ways to apply cold therapy include:
Use cold therapy only for short periods, several times a day (we usually recommend 10-15 minute intervals) to protect your skin and other tissues from damage.
Pain relief could be as close as your local drugstore. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication (think Advil and Aleve) effectively reduces swelling and relieves pain. Even though they're over-the-counter, you should still talk to us before taking medicine for your pain.
Sometimes, all your feet need is a bit of rest to heal from the painful inflammation causing Morton's neuroma. We recommend that you take a few weeks off from your workouts and high-impact activities to give your feet a rest and a chance to recover.
Once you're ready to get back to your routine, consider doing more low-impact activities and refrain from standing for long periods.
Losing weight is a great way to get healthy and take the pressure off your joints, especially those joints in your feet. Even a few pounds can go a long way toward relieving extra stress and allowing your feet to heal.
If you're looking for the least invasive and most hands-off approach to Morton's neuroma, orthotics are the way to go.
Custom orthotics are uniquely designed to fit your foot exactly and address your specific needs. For Morton's neuroma, we recommend durable and supportive orthotics that are still soft enough to cushion your toes and allow them to spread out evenly.
We offer two powerful injections to address Morton's neuroma: cortisone injections and sclerosing alcohol injections.
With cortisone injections, we deliver powerful anti-inflammatory medication directly into the affected nerve, reducing swelling and pain, and in some cases shrinking the neuroma altogether.
Sclerosing alcohol injections work to weaken the affected nerve and either hinder or totally eliminate its ability to send pain signals to your brain. In a way, sclerosing alcohol injections allow us to get as close to surgical nerve removal as possible without making an incision.
Another great way to go below the surface of your skin and address Morton's neuroma without surgery is with MLS laser therapy. This advanced treatment uses light energy rather than surgical techniques to gently reduce inflammation, swelling, and pain.
Morton's neuroma can be frustrating, but it doesn't have to mean a trip to the OR. Call our friendly staff at 410-753-4422 or use our online booking tool to schedule an appointment at our office in Lutherville, Maryland to find the nonsurgical treatment option that works for you.