Hello everyone! I've been running on and off for about three years. I had my third child 15 months ago and have been running again for three months. I completed the C25K program, and moved on to Bridge to 10K. I've had various issues with fatigue, hurt knees, but nothing I haven't been able to overcome, until... Morton's neuroma! Ugh! I was just diagnosed yesterday and decided to order orthotics for my running shoes. I'm also looking into alcohol injections, as I'd rather avoid cortisone since I'm nursing. I'm looking into foot alignment socks.
Anyone out there with this issue? I'd love to hear experiences, feedback, etc.
Thank you so much!
Over the years, there have been a lot of posts regarding MN and related topics. Just enter "neuroma" in the Search Cool Running Community link at the top of this page. While the sheer number of facts and opinions can be overwhelming, you've already saved a lot of time by obtaining a diagnosis. Still, you've seen that solutions are all over the map. You are wise to avoid the steroid injections, but will find that the condition can continue to progress despite alcohol injections, which bring temporary relief.
I am hoping your experience with orthotics is a positive one, but there are pitfalls in this area to avoid. Some get worse after a time in modified shoes. You are attempting to spread out pressure from one area in the foot to other areas that may not be prepared or suitable for it. Beyond this, any change in pressure usually translates into changes in motion or muscle movement, which can lead to other bone, joint, or muscle problems. The perineural fibrosis we call MN is just one negative consequence of excess motion.
There may be an association between your experiences with childbearing and MN. Alterations in hip geometry over time, relaxation or tightening of certain soft-tissues in your core, can introduce subtle changes in your movement below that result in MN irritation. While the pain is happening in the foot, the real causes can be much higher up. I would go beyond remedial or compensatory strategies to a complete profile of your movement during running. A physical therapist with strong sports injury experience and skills can help determine and minimize the cascade of adaptations that results in MN pain. We all have nerves in our feet. The way we move determines whether and how those nerves can be compromised.
MN wrecked a number of my marathons, so I made changes to my footwear to compensate for structural and bone-length problems. The results for me were positive, but your case is probably more complicated than mine. Before the fibrosis builds up to an intolerable level, do what you can to determine and correct all structural and functional factors contributing to excess movement in the foot. Be aware that casual footwear is just as important as athletic gear, and other activities as seemingly innocuous as standing on your feet can predispose you to MN. A lot of dancers have had this problem, and it tends to run in families. I have no doubt that in your case, the running was the final blow that brought it to the surface, but not the only catalyst. Leave no stone unturned in your search for potential contributors to the irritation that only recently you have been able to feel.
MN is one of the most crippling injuries a runner can face. I have likened it to having a spike driven into the middle of my foot, but for most of us, the pain is temporary, and can be overcome without giving up the activities that bring it to the fore. I hope you are fortunate enough to resolve this issue without giving up your passion for sport. Good luck!
Hi there, thank you so much for the lengthy and thoughtful reply!! I did do a search for neuroma and whoa! Tons of great information.
I have indeed read the opposing views on orthotics. I plan on trying them but they're definitely not the end all, be all for me. Should I notice that they are causing other areas pain, I won't continue to use them.
I used to see a chiropractor monthly--I haven't seen her in a few months (something having to do with all those kids!), but I plan on seeing someone soon, because it always helped with alignment and hip issues in the past, especially after the birth of each of my children. I may see a PT, too. Thanks for the advice. :) I thought my shoes had a bit more mileage left on them, but will get new ones ASAP.
I've been a bit despondent, as I love to run and really don't wan to give it up. It's great to know that there are others who have come through it. Thanks so much again!
You might check out http://www.mortonsneuromatalk.com/
This site was started by BarefootTJ - an immensely helpful barefoot runner who also hangs out at www.thebarefootrunners.org who has battled MNs.
"Kick off your high heel sneakers, it's party time."
-- From the song FM by Steely Dan