If you notice a gradually developing pain in your forefoot (just past your instep) between the tarsal bones of the 3rd and 4th toes that is worse when you press it between your thumb and index finger, you most likely have what’s called a Morton’s Neuroma.
Despite it’s name, it is not a true tumor. It is a buildup of fibrous tissue that surrounds the sheath of one of the nerves that innervate the foot. The nerve lies between the muscles that connect the tarsal bones and due to the fibrous buildup gets compressed within this narrow confine. It is worse when standing and walking.
Morton’s neuromas are usually treated with orthotics (custom shoe inserts to help counter flat arches, over pronation, or other abnormalities of the foot) and cortisone injections to the painful nerve. Sometimes surgical removal of the excess fibrous tissue is done if the condition does not resolve.
A simple remedy that can provide welcome relief, and perhaps allow the nerve to heal faster is inserting rolled up gauze or cotton between the 3rd and 4th toes. This spreads apart the tarsal bones and creates more room for the nerve. Sometimes simple things make for effective remedies, and this is one of them.