Having a feeling that there is a small object such as a pebble in your shoe is the main symptom of a condition called Morton’s neuroma. It occurs when a metatarsal ligament traps a nerve causing inflammation and discomfort that usually presents between the second and third, or third and fourth metatarsal bones that lead to your toes. If you don’t have an actual rock in your footwear that is causing this feeling, then you should visit your podiatrist for proper evaluation and treatment.


The actual cause of neuromas is still under investigation, but it often appears to be a result of injury and pressure that pushes on the nerves that run into your toes. Women are diagnosed with this ailment nearly three times as often as men due to the deleterious effects of wearing high heeled shoes. High impact sports such as tennis, jogging, and basketball, and any actions which cause repetitive stress to the feet, can also contribute to this condition. Individuals with foot deformities including bunions and flat feet are also more susceptible.

Treatment Options for Morton’s Neuroma
Depending on the severity of your neuroma and your particular situation, your foot doctor will customize your treatment. Suggestions may include the following:

Change your shoes—Shoes with a wider toe box will help to relieve pressure on the interdigital nerve that is often inflamed by this condition.
Limiting activities—Reducing the wear and tear to your feet by taking it easy with sports or other strenuous activities.
Orthotic inserts—Properly placed custom orthotic inserts and foam pads may help to relieve pressure and irritation by shifting the stress to other parts of the foot.
Anti-inflammatory medications—Ibuprofen or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs will reduce pain.
Icing—Applying ice to the area for 15 minutes several times a day can help reduce swelling and pain.
Steroid injections—These can provide long-term relief but may also be implicated as the cause of damage to surrounding soft tissues after repeated use.
If you feel like you have a pebble in your shoe, consult with our board certified podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC. The center offers convenient locations in Fort Lee NJ, Ringwood NJ, Flushing Queens NY, Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn NY, and Forest Hills NY. Contact us at (201) 363-9844and schedule an appointment today!

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