What Is Morton’s Neuroma?
Posted on Jul 20, 2020

There are many ways that foot pain can strike, and knowing how to identify the area of pain and your symptoms can help you to receive the most accurate diagnosis from your personal physician.

Today, we are looking at Morton’s neuroma, a condition marked by shooting, stabbing pain in the underside or ball of your foot. Let’s look at its symptoms, what causes this condition, and what options you have for pain relief.


While not a serious condition in terms of function, Morton’s neuroma can cause mild to intense pain when walking. This pain is felt in the ball of the foot and is often compared to a stone bruise, meaning that it feels like sharp sensations that occur when stepping on a rock. The pain has also been described as a burning or numbing sensation that can also affect the feeling in the toes.

Some people describe the symptoms of this disorder differently. Occasionally, people say that it feels like a sock is balled up inside the shoe. Or, they feel like there is a pebble in the shoe. Occasionally, the toes just feel stiff or ‘thick.’ Variable symptoms are a hallmark of nerve compression pain. Just because you don’t have what is considered true ‘pain’ does not make it any less debilitating!

Morton’s neuroma pain is a result of nerve irritation or compression in the sole of the foot. The nerves to the toes run on the plantar (sole-side) of the foot between the toes. These may be compressed by the adjacent bones or the ligament holding the bones together.

This ligament sits on top of the nerve and can compress the nerve and cause pain. This nerve pain is often felt between the toes but radiates into the toes of the feet, making it painful to walk, stand, or exercise.

The most common exacerbations of Morton’s neuroma include wearing high heels or ill-fitting shoes that add excess pressure to the nerves of your foot. Heavy levels of activity involving forefoot weight-bearing also contribute. Standing for long periods, participating in sports, or running on hard, uneven surfaces without supportive footwear can also increase this pain due to the repeated trauma of the foot. Just chronic inflammation and the associated thickening of ligaments alone can cause this as well.


There are a few things you can do at home to help alleviate Morton’s neuroma pain. First, start by resting your feet. If you’ve spent the day on your feet, take some time to prop your feet up to relax and reduce inflammation. Applying a cold compress and taking over-the-counter pain medication like ibuprofen can help as well. A good foot massage following the principles of fascial release can help a lot too. Offloading of the forefoot with specialized shoes and/or orthotics helps too.  

During the day, make sure to wear shoes that fit your feet well and provide adequate cushion at the ball of the foot and also incorporate offloading. This will help to take the pressure off of the digital nerves and lessen the irritation.

It is best to avoid wearing tight shoes or high heels which can squeeze the feet and make the pain worse. 

Please note that if you are experiencing symptoms of Morton’s neuroma, it is still necessary for you to schedule an appointment with your doctor for an accurate diagnosis. Once your physician pinpoints the cause of your foot pain, you can begin the path to recovery with a personalized treatment plan to help you get back to walking without pain. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, physical therapy, massage, injections, or even surgery may be sought to alleviate pain.


At The Healing Sole, we want to help you find relief from Morton’s neuroma pain without surgery or medication.

Our Palmer flip flops help to alleviate foot pain by offloading stress from the feet using a combination of arch support, a compressible inner heel, non-compressible outer heel, and a firm rocker bottom sole; the design also augments the therapeutic effects with a modified metatarsal bar. This style is designed without the elevated toe ramp of our original flip flop for those with pain in the toes and balls of the feet. Sufferers of Morton’s neuroma, hammertoes, bunions, and hallux rigidus can find relief with this style!

Try our Palmer flip flops for yourself with our 30-day guarantee. Slip them on first thing in the morning and after a long day on the go – or, wear them all day for lasting relief! Order today to get back to walking without pain.