Morton’s Neuroma

The symptom of Morton’s Neuroma is ongoing severe pain and burning under the ball of the foot between the third and fourth metatarsal bones.

This condition presents with swelling and inflammation of a nerve that is trapped and constantly pinched and compressed by the adjacent metatarsals. Over time, the site of swelling can become a tumor of nerve tissue.

 Symptoms       Causes        Solutions

Dr. Sam Dubé discusses Morton’s neuroma

Learn about the symptoms, causes, and benefits of different treatment options.

 What causes Morton’s Neuroma?

The leading cause of metatarsalgia is poor foot mechanics caused by footwear use.

There are three main causes:

  1. Wearing footwear that presents with a concave surface under the metatarsal heads: In essence, this causes a drop of the heads of the second, third, and fourth metatarsals, significantly increasing the load they bear. The concave supportive surface of the footwear may be a result of footwear design or it may be caused by midsole/insole material breakdown or compression due to long-term use.

  2. Long-term use of footwear or insoles that provide excessive cushioning: This causes the body to stop producing robust soft tissue padding under the metatarsal heads, which creates a highly sensitized area.

  3. Failure of the foot muscles to correctly align the bones of the feet into strong and dynamically adaptable arches: This leads to foot instability and torsional forces on the metatarsal bones.

These causes can present simultaneously, which can worsen the severity of the symptoms and make it difficult to effectively address the causes.

Modern science has identified that the nervous system plays a critical role in stabilizing the feet and ankles when walking or running. It is now understood that poor foot function is a symptom of inefficient neuromuscular function caused by conventional footwear use. In fact, conventional footwear use causes poor neuromuscular function throughout the feet, legs, hips, and back, when:

  • the soles of the feet don’t receive the subtle, varied stimulus that the nervous system requires for healthy function,

  • snug toe boxes, stiff midsoles/outsoles/uppers and tight lacing restrict healthy foot movement, and

  • footwear midsoles / outsoles feature a concave supporting surface under the metatarsal heads.

To learn more about the relationship between footwear and lower limb pathologies, click HERE.



The best way to prevent and treat Morton’s neuroma is to retrain healthy neuromuscular function; and to use footwear that presents a flat supporting surface under the metatarsal heads, and that is soft, flexible, and roomier in the forefoot.

Conventional treatment methods for Morton’s Neuroma

Since the late 1890s, the standard treatment for poor foot mechanics has been to artificially support the foot with an orthotic. Other conventional treatment options include:

  • Local cushioning

  • Metatarsal pads

  • Toe separation devices

  • Corticosteroid injection

  • Surgical removal of the neuroma

Modern science has transitioned away from using long-term support and cushioning on any body part because it causes a progressive weakening of the body part being supported or cushioned.

The modern approach to treating Morton’s Neuroma

Science underscores the body's inherent ability to restore and improve its own function when presented with the appropriate challenges. This principle lies at the heart of contemporary therapeutic methods used to correct and enhance neuromuscular function, particularly in foot health.

Therapeutic rehabilitation, focusing on the body's natural mechanics and responses, emerges as the safest and most effective strategy for addressing the underlying causes of conditions like Morton's Neuroma, shifting the focus from temporary relief to long-term health and functionality.

Understanding the Fundamentals:

  • Proper Technique: This refers to rehabilitative exercises that concentrate on re-establishing optimal neuromuscular function. It's about reinforcing healthy mobility, muscle strength, stability, and alignment in a safe manner.

  • Right Stimulus and Right Movement: Effective movement is predicated on the quality of sensory information the brain receives, particularly from the soles of the feet. The feet's nerve endings are crucial in transmitting this data, ensuring coordinated movement throughout the musculoskeletal system. When sensory input is compromised—as is often the case with conventional footwear—the body's natural reflexes and movements can be inhibited.

Adopting the Modern Approach:

  1. Barefoot Walking: Engage in barefoot walking, particularly on natural surfaces, as frequently as feasible. This practice delivers the optimal stimulus for healthy neuromuscular function, promoting the right kind of movement.

  2. Utilization of Biopods®: Incorporate Biopods footwear or insoles into your routine. Our footwear is designed to create an ideal environment for proper foot technique, while our insoles are crafted to enhance the sensory feedback in your conventional shoes. For optimal results, use in footwear that is soft, flexible, and allows for natural movement of the arches and toes.

  3. Consultation with Healthcare Professionals: Prior injuries might have led to the formation of fibrotic scar tissue. It's advisable to consult with a healthcare practitioner about therapies that can address these issues to facilitate better foot function.


The modern approach to foot health is integrative and proactive, focusing on encouraging the body's natural ability to heal and maintain itself. It's an investment in your long-term health and wellbeing, steering away from temporary fixes and instead, fostering lasting, comprehensive foot health.

Consult with your healthcare practitioner to ask about employing soft tissue mobilization therapies to address the fibrotic scar tissue that may have formed prior to using Biopods.

    For more information on what to expect when using Biopods, click HERE.


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