Are athletes more likely to get Morton’s Neuroma?
Athletes and Morton’s neuroma
Every great athlete will find it difficult to compete with a painful foot injury. While minor pains and aches in legs or feet are common, experiencing incessant and growing pain especially around the foot’s ball might be a sign of Morton’s Neuroma. This problem is more prone to occur in athletes, most commonly in females, such as golfers, ballet dancers, football players, and tennis players.
Morton’s neuroma is a nerve condition in which a patient might feel as if there is a rock present in their shoe. Athletes need to be concerned about the treatments, symptoms, and causes of Morton’s Neuroma so that this disorder cannot interfere with their training and workouts.
Morton’s Neuroma is more commonly found in athletes, as they are more likely to wear fitted shoes which are tight or narrow, especially when their feet expand after exertion. Shoes with narrow toe boxes are a leading cause of this disorder. Patients will feel a sharp pain in their foot’s ball, experience toe cramps, and have mild or severe sensations of tingling on their feet especially toes. In athletes, pain in worsened by the kind of shoes that are worn during workouts or practices or during the sport. Since these shoes are frequently too narrow as the foot expands during or after workouts or practices, this directly applies pressure on the webspace – the area between the metatarsals in the foot’s ball and toes, which cases pain that increases with time.
Doctors are not certain about the exact causes of Morton’s Neuroma although it is associated with nerve irritation related to narrow shoes and foot injury. Narrow shoes irritate the nerve which is confined in a small web space between the toes. As a result , a neuroma (thick nerve tissue growth) occurs as a natural response to the injury. Tight shoes as well as other foot disorders such as hammer toes, poor arches and bunions are the leading causes of this disorder. Athletes who expose their feet to high level of physical activity are more likely to develop this condition.
There are now a number of excellent treatment options available to people suffering with Morton’s neuroma, including options with avoid the need for surgery.
Janet D. Pearl, MD, MSc is the Medical Director of The Center for Morton’s Neuroma and Complete Spine and Pain Care, an interventional and integrated Pain Management program located in Framingham, Massachusetts. Previously, Dr. Pearl was the Co-Director of the Pain Management Center at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, where she was also the Director of the Fellowship program. She is the former Director of a satellite pain center of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Pain Management Center, located at the HealthSouth Braintree Rehabilitation Hospital. Dr. Pearl held academic appointments at Harvard Medical School and Tufts Medical School. She serves on the Health Care Services Board of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents since 2000 as one of its physician representatives and is Chair of the Committee on Pain Management.