A Morton's neuroma is a mass that normally occurs between the third and fourth toes at the ball of the foot, as explained by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. The tissue in this area creates pressure on the nerves, which can be extremely painful.
Proper support of the arch can help, as can Morton's neuroma exercises that can reduce stress. Wearing shoes that are wider around the toe area can also help, according to Mayo Clinic.
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Read more: How to Stop Foot Pain With 7 Easy Exercises
Stretches for Morton's Neuroma
Stretching the connective tissue in the foot can decrease the stress placed on your neuroma. All stretches should be held for at least 10 seconds to provide the most benefit.
Move 1: Manual Plantar Fascia Stretch
- Grasp your heel in one hand.
- Place your other hand under the ball of your foot and toes.
- Gently pull your forefoot and toes back toward your shin, creating a pull along the bottom of the foot.
Move 2: Wall Stretch
- Face a wall with your feet about shoulder width apart.
- Put your hands on the wall at shoulder height and step back with your right foot, placing it about two to three foot lengths behind the left.
- Keeping your heels on the floor, bend your knees and lean into the wall.
Move 3: Bottle Roll
- Freeze a bottle of water.
- Roll the bottle back and forth along the bottom of your foot.
A glass bottle is rigid, so it provides good resistance, while a bottle full of ice provides the additional benefit of decreasing inflammation through cold application.
Move 4: Towel Stretch
- Sit on the floor with your leg straight in front of you.
- Place the ball of your foot in the middle of a towel.
- Grasp both ends of the towel and pull your forefoot back toward your shin.
Foot-Strengthening Neuroma Exercises
Perform strengthening exercises to improve foot strength and support your arch as part of your foot neuroma exercises. Perform each exercise 10 times, working up to three sets in a row.
Move 1: Figure Eight
- Sit with your leg straight.
- Lead with your big toe and complete a figure-eight pattern with your foot.
- Move your foot through the largest range of motion you can.
Move 2: Alphabet
- Sit with your leg out straight.
- Leading with your big toe, write the alphabet in the air with your foot.
Move 3: Towel Scrunch
- Place a towel flat on the floor.
- Put your foot on the end closest to you.
- Using your toes, pull the towel toward you.
To make this more difficult, you may put a weight on the end of the towel that's farther from you.
Read more: Exercises to Strengthen Feet Turning Inward
Improved balance will increase your ability to perform activity with improved posture and ease. Try single-foot stance and toes raises, as demonstrated by ExRx.net.
Move 1: Single Foot Stance
- Stand on one foot and balance for as long as you are able.
- Hold onto a wall or counter nearby to help stabilize you if necessary.
You may increase the difficulty by moving your opposite foot or closing your eyes. As your balance improves, you may do both at the same time.
Move 2: Toe Raise
- Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
- Rise up onto your toes and hold for two to three seconds.
- Slowly lower back down.
You may do this with your eyes closed for increased difficulty.
Is this an emergency? If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911.