Morton's Neuroma In Golfers: How Your Podiatrist Can Help

24 April 2023
 Categories: , Blog


Golf may have a reputation as a sedate, relaxing sport, but any avid golfer can tell you the reality is very different. Golf can be exhilarating and soul-crushing in equal measure, and it can also take a surprising toll on your body. Your feet are particularly vulnerable to golfing-related injuries, and many amateur and professional golfers suffer from a debilitating food condition known as Morton's neuroma.

What Is Morton's Neuroma?

Each of your feet contains two plantar nerves, which run along the length of your feet from your heels to your toes. These nerves pass between the metatarsal bones, which connect your toes to the rest of your feet.

If your metatarsal bones are pushed together when the foot moves, the plantar nerve between the bones can become pinched, causing damage and inflammation. Repeated pinching over time can cause the nerve to become thicker, creating a fibrous growth of nerve tissue at the point where the nerve is pinched. These growths are known as neuromas, and when they occur between your metatarsal bones, they are called Morton's neuromas. 

The main symptom of Morton's neuroma is a sharp, stabbing pain in the ball of the affected foot or feet. This pain is often centered between the third and fourth toes and can become excruciating if the nerve is badly damaged. As the nerve becomes progressively thicker and more damaged, you may also notice numbness, tingling, or burning in the ball of the foot, as well as the toes.

How Can Podiatrists Help Golfers With Morton's Neuroma?

You may have heard that surgery is the only surefire way to cure Morton's neuroma, but in many cases, surgical intervention is not necessary. Podiatrists can offer a range of non-surgical, minimally invasive treatments to reduce your symptoms and get you back out on the links.

If your podiatrist diagnoses you with Morton's neuroma, they will definitely recommend taking some time off the course. Resting the damaged foot or feet can be enough to resolve many mild cases of Morton's neuroma. Cold compresses and elevating the affected foot or feet can help reduce inflammation and speed up the healing process. 

If you are in pain, your podiatrist can prescribe painkilling medications and injections. NSAID painkillers (such as ibuprofen) are preferred because they reduce inflammation and pain. For more severe pain, your podiatrist can inject corticosteroid medications into the foot at the affected point(s). These injections provide long-lasting pain relief, often for weeks or months.

If your condition does not respond to these conservative measures, your podiatrist may recommend sclerosing injections. These injections use chemicals to deaden the inflamed nerve and relieve permanent pain. These injections do not cause any loss of sensation, because other nerves in your feet will automatically adapt to compensate for the treated nerve. These injections are considerably cheaper and less risky than surgical correction.  

For more info, contact a local podiatrist