Do You Feel Like You'Re Always Standing On A Pebble?

You think there's something in your shoe, but you take it off to find nothing there. Even when you're barefoot, it feels like you're stepping on something in the area between your third and fourth toes. Does this sound familiar? If you're suffering from these symptoms, there's a good chance they're caused by a neurological condition known as Morton's neuroma.

What is Morton's neuroma?

Morton's neuroma is a condition in which the tissue near the base of your toes thickens, causing it to put excessive pressure on a nerve in this area. It usually appears between the third and fourth toes, but can happen near other toes, too. Some patients with Morton's neuroma report stinging and numbness in the toes, but the most common symptom is what you're experiencing – always feeling like you're stepping on a pebble.

What causes Morton's neuroma?

In some patients, this condition seems to arise out of the blue with no explanation. However, most patients can blame their heels for the problem. Wearing high heels, especially regularly over a long period of time, places excessive stress on the area where the toes meet the foot. The body responds to this stress by thickening up the tissue in this area, and the side effect of that thickening is Morton's neuroma.

How is the condition treated?

If you are a regular heel wearer, the first thing you'll want to do is switch to flats and cut back on walking for a few days. If you're not a heel wearer, try staying off your feet as much as possible for a few days. Sometimes, the condition may correct itself quickly if you're able to reduce the strain on the area where the toes meet the foot. If a few days pass and you still feel like you're stepping on a pebble, call a podiatrist. such as Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle.

Your podiatrist may prescribe special shoes or inserts for you to wear that will take the pressure off the ball of your foot. He or she may also administer a corticosteroid injection to ease your pain. If these treatments don't prove effective, you may wish to undergo surgery to reduce pressure on the nerve. Sometimes, the nerve must be surgically removed, though this has the side effect of causing numbness in the toes.

If you always feel like you're stepping on a pebble, you're probably not imagining the sensation – there is actually something wrong. Follow the advice above, and you'll be walking comfortably again in no time.