Morton’s Neuralgia: deaf, stabbing forefoot, painful toes

When walking, we need to complete the normal fluid walking motion so that we can move effortlessly. It involves making a backward movement, landing first on the heel and then on the sole and forefoot with toes. It can happen that the metatarsal bones come under so much pressure, causing nerves to become compressed. It results in severe tingling, a strange feeling of the foot, pain or numbness. What is Morton’s Neuralgia?

Morton’s Neuralgia

  • Symptoms of Morton’s Neuralgia
  • Influence of nerves
  • What could be the causes?
  • What can be done about it?

Symptoms of Morton’s Neuralgia

Painful walking can be caused by several conditions. A common cause is Morton’s Neuralgia, which is triggered, among other things, by too tight footwear. During walking you will experience discomfort, resulting in pain or tingling. The most specific thing is that there are no externally recognizable causes. However, if pressure is applied between the third and fourth metatarsals, it will cause extra pain. The forefoot will initially feel completely strange, with everything tingling or starting to hurt. Because it is nerve pain, the pain intensity can also vary considerably. It ensures that the foot movement is not completed normally, which may cause additional muscle complaints. It is ten times more common in women than men, and the person is usually in their thirties. This has to do with the type of footwear the person prefers. The complaints decrease if the feet are not stressed.

Influence of nerves

The foot consists of many small bones and several nerve pathways. These nerves run through the soft tissue on the inside of the ankle and then branch over the instep to the toes. Internal inflammation, irritation or deformity (benign neuroma or tissue growth) increases pressure on the nerves, causing electrical signals to appear incorrectly or incorrectly. These signals can be translated into tingling or pain signals. If the nerve is completely blocked it can also lead to partial or complete numbness of the foot or toes.

What could be the causes?

Due to the change in tissue, the nerve is locally compressed. It often occurs between the metatarsal bones. Depending on which bones it occurs, the complaints can vary, but it often concerns the metatarsal III and IV. These have cups between which tissue can grow and nerves can become pinched. It can be caused by the following reasons.

Hallux valgus

The metatarsal bone of the big toe is too far outward, while the front bones are further inward. It leads to an enlarged lump, which is more susceptible to inflammation. An unusual length of the metatarsal in the big toe can also cause it, putting excessive strain on the other metatarsal bones.

Pes planotransversus or spreading foot

The forefoot has sagged due to insufficient tension in the sole and weakened metatarsal bones. This is often caused by an increased acid content, which further causes gout and rheumatism.


Intensive sports such as running, but also certain professions can cause unusual stress on the metatarsal bones. Wearing high heels and/or shoes that are too narrow. The foot is in an unusual position for a long time, which means that the metatarsal bones are not loaded normally.

What can be done about it?

Most complaints are related to the footwear and therefore a lot of attention should be paid to this. High heels should be avoided and well-fitting normal running shoes should be used. It may be important to wear arch supports so that the load is better distributed while walking. If it concerns conditions caused by rheumatism, the body must be deacidified by, for example, taking birch leaf or nettle tea. In extreme exceptional cases it may mean surgery, but preference is given to changing footwear and reducing the influence of acids. In addition, anti-inflammatories can be prescribed to reduce the size of the growth and reduce pressure on the nerves.

If you have any complaints, please be informed by a foot or shoe specialist so that you are fitted with the most suitable footwear. This can help you resolve many complaints. In addition, go to the drugstore for products to naturally remove unwanted substances such as acids and toxins (inflammation).

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