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mlroseplant

Morton's Neuroma

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About a month ago, I was experiencing some tingling and discomfort in the balls of my feet. It wasn't really what I would call painful, but it certainly was bothersome. The most bothersome aspect of it was that I was afraid I was going to have to give up wearing heels. I think that perhaps I was developing a Morton's Neuroma, which is a thickening of the tissue around the nerves leading to the toes. I am still not sure if this is the case. I didn't have the exact symptoms, but it seemed similar enough.

Oddly enough, I generally found relief while wearing heels, but only certain pairs of shoes. Certain heels felt weirdly uncomfortable. After a week of not wearing heels (which was horrible), I finally decided that the cause was not the heels, but my worn out work boots. My job has changed somewhat, and I must now walk a whole lot more than I did before. I bought some new boots, and started icing the balls of my feet at night. The problem has largely resolved itself.

Has anyone else experienced these problems, and how did you deal with it?

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My problem was a pinched nerve in my back, but I have also experiences some numbness in my feet.  I attributed it to some new shoes I had gotten form @maninpumpsa while back that were a little too tight but I decided to wear them anyway, hoping they would stretch.  Either the shoes did stretch or they reshaped my feet or my older feet are getting smaller as a natural occurrence of ageing .  Whatever happened, the shoes, thought still tight, fit reasonably well and the numbness has largely gone away.  I've also notices other shoes/boots are not as tight so it may be my feet have gotten smaller but I have no accurate measurements with which to back that statement.  

I wish I had a better answer for your issue but it sounds like your solution is working so... "Don't argue with success".

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It has been a couple of weeks, and the situation has improved from "worrisome" to "occasionally annoying." The new boots have definitely helped (I should have bought new ones months before I did). I am still walking way more than I did before, because my crews are so spread out, but after asking, pleading, needling, begging, and threatening, my superiors have finally seen fit to get me a buggy (small all-terrain vehicle), so hopefully the situation will improve even more in the coming weeks.

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I have dealt with two Morton's neuromas (is this the correct plural form? Not sure.) in the past. My non-medical professional "insight": If it really is a Morton's neuroma, changing shoes or behavior will help a little, for a while, but it may well get worse, and what you wear, or not, and what you do or do not do, won't matter.

Ultimately had both surgically removed. Based on pain before and comfort and mobility regained after (there is a healing period) if I had to face that again, I would go surgery without hesitation. YMMV, of course...

Best wishes in any case!

Logjam

Edited by Logjam
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An update on the situation: It got much worse after my post of more than 3 months ago. It didn't affect my life too horribly much, but I remember some loooooong days at work, where I was not able to walk normally. The boots that I was wearing at work had a higher than normal heel, but nothing more extreme than an ordinary pair of logging boots. I began to question whether my radical high heeling days were over (I never wear flats outside of work). I found it hard to accept, and difficult to believe that after over 4 years and thousands of miles of walking in truly high heels, that the mild steepness of my work boots was the cause of my problems.

I switched boots again, to something like a normal work boot (almost flat). As it turns out, that seems to have solved the problem, but not for the reason that I thought. I am slowly, day by day, returning to pain free feet, even though I wear and walk a good distance in substantially high heels after work daily. I think it was in the soles of my boots, particularly the material they were made of, and not the height of the heels, and possibly the cheap construction of the boots. I didn't think a boot sole could be too soft or too bouncy, but that seems to be the case. Only after I switched back to "real" work boots did I notice that I could no longer feel individual pieces of loose gravel beneath my feet. It wasn't a week until my feet started feeling incrementally better, and now I'm back to 80% of where I was before this whole problem started, even though I've gotten lazy about icing my feet every night. It just doesn't seem necessary.

With any luck, the problem will disappear entirely over the coming weeks, and I can continue wearing my heels without guilt.

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I have had some real issues with work boots. I have one pair of steel toe / metatarsals that just make my day miserable. At any given time, my feet will feel like they are on fire. It's like someone was using a blow torch on the bottom of your feet. I have also found that some of those "cushy' soles actually make it worse. I'm lucky in that I only have to wear them a few days at a time, but 12 to 16 hours standing on fire make a day pretty crappy.

 

Edited by Heelster

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I had a neuroma years ago that was absolute agony. I had previously had collapsed disc issues and initially thought it to be some residual nerve damage, so thought I just had to put up with it. Heelster's blowtorch analogy is frighteningly accurate :(

I eventually limped to my GP who wanted to give me a cortisone injection, but when I pointed out I had personal medical insurance he immediately referred me to a private clinic where it was diagnosed in seconds I had a neuroma that had to come out.

I was told I would be left with a sense of numbness, which I said would be a huge improvement on feeling like someone was shoving red hot pokers through the bottom of my foot. The op was done on an outpatients' basis and after a few weeks recuperating was back to my former sprightly self. So from my experience, the only solution is through surgery as no amount of prior bandaging and padding made an iota of difference.

 

 

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It is weird how even seemingly sensible shoes can cause problems.

I wore a pair of Dr Scholls work shoes for about a month, and my big left toe went numb. I changed back to sneaker style Red Wings and instantly felt better.  The numbness took about a year to fade away.

Now if only the RWs were more sensibly designed with something to hold the tongue up and were more durable...

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I had foot problems last year.  Ran into a 2" by 12" by 10 foot while barefooted and broke my baby toe, It stuck straight up, They had to go in and take a joint out of the toe and then pinned my #4 toe and baby toe with 6 inch pins.  Foot surgery is not fun. My podiatrist never heard someone scream so high pitched, not loud, when she pulled the pins out.

Three years ago during a spa pedicure, the pedicurist notice that my feet had lots of knots in them. She recommended Reflexology.  I would recommend giving Reflexology a try for Morton's Neuroma.

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It has now been the better part of a year, but I think my problem is actually solved this time. I won't say my feet never hurt, but the pain is minimal, and it's only sometimes, which is way better than it was before. I can now say beyond a reasonable doubt that wearing high heels has nothing to do with it, at least not directly. Oh, and the cheap work boots are definitely bad. Now that I'm back to normal, I decided to wear them one day, just to see. Nope. Bad idea. Those things are definitely not seeing the job site ever again.

However, the true fix had nothing to do with footwear of any sort, but rather with my feet themselves. I began to question what had changed in the last few years, and there's the obvious one: I began wearing high heels pretty much all of the time when I wasn't at work about 5 years ago. But back then, I was also exercising a lot. I nearly always exercise barefoot. Since that time, I got a job I've been on for the past 3 years (almost unheard of in construction) working 60 hours a week. The exercise program has pretty much gone by the wayside. What this means is, I almost always wear shoes, like most people in the industrialized world. I believe the muscles in my feet had somewhat atrophied, and this was what was causing my pain. I still haven't really got back with the vigorous exercise program (and I refuse to beat myself up for it), but I began doing foot exercises. The main exercise I do, several times a day, is pick up a golf ball with my toes, hold it a few seconds, then set it back down again. I do this 5-10 times per session. I have golf balls strategically placed near my bed, where I take my work boots off in the basement, and I even carry one in my lunch box.

It was very hard and frustrating for me at first, trying to pick up the golf ball, especially with my right foot, which is the foot that hurts the most when I'm having a flareup. After several months, I can now easily pick up the ball with either foot (if it's not wet) and hold it for several minutes if desired, although my left foot is still stronger than my right, even though I'm right-footed. How weird is that? I also manually flex my toes several times either way, as far as they will bend. I sure wish my toes would bend further, but they've improved slightly over the last year.

It seems I keep adding to this thread, but like the Dude said in the Big Lebowski, new sh*t has come to light. It sure feels nice to be able to walk again without feeling anything but the pressure of my feet against the ground.

IMG_7719.jpg

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I'm glad to hear you found your problem @mlroseplant and I'm even more glad to hear the problem wasn't your high heel wearing. 

With my own experience with Dr Scholls work shoes that I mentioned above, I guess the moral of the story is to only wear well designed and comfortable shoes of any heel height.

I have found that work shoes by respected sneaker makers are comfortable.

Reebok, Avia, Brooks work for my foot shape. Red Wings sneaker style shoes are good too.

Which brands do you prefer?

Edited by alphax

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For the first 15 years of my career, and this is my 21st year, I was a Red Wing man. Because I have a small and slightly narrow foot for a man, Red Wings were my friends. They made several styles I liked in my size (which in RWs is 8B). Notice I used the past tense. About 5 years ago, Red Wing discontinued some models I liked, and they cut the size range on several others. Plus, they began to make a lot of their boots in China. If I'm going to pay the kind of money they want for those things, I want U.S. made. Also, having my actual size would be nice, Red Wing.

Therefore, I'm still kind of in limbo. I have been wearing Doc Martens lately, with spotty success. I had a couple of bad pairs of Docs, as I mentioned above, but some have worked out OK. I also have a leftover pair of American made Red Wings that I wear somewhat regularly, but they are huge logging boots (rated for fighting wildfires, I might add), and they are really not that suitable for the kind of construction work I do. Plus, they collect mud like crazy! I will have to look into some alternatives. I might try Keen. A lot of guys seem to like those. It's all a matter of who makes my size, and if not, do they have any women's boots that are any good.

I just HATE shopping for work boots. I'd much rather shop for high heels, but I guess I'll look at the bright side--my wife will not complain about how much money I spend on work boots, no matter what the price tag is! It will be a conflict free transaction. I'll have to let you know what happens.

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