Metatarsalgia & Morton’s Neuroma

These Forefoot Conditions are common and can usually be associated with improperly-fitted footwear. Please contact your family physician or Podiatrist and ask them how Birkenstock footwear or arch supports can help treat your symptoms. Also, feel free to contact local Birkenstock retailer about their healthy footwear recommendations. Birkenstock has many products that can help with Metatarsalgia and Morton’s Neuroma.

Treat Metatarsalgia, Morton’s Neuroma

Metatarsalgia is a general term used to denote a painful inflammatory foot condition in the metatarsal region of the foot (the area just before the toes, or the ball of the foot). This ball-of-the-foot pain is often located under the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th metatarsal heads or more isolated at the 1st metatarsal head (near the big toe). Morton’s Neuroma is an abnormal function of the foot that leads to bones squeezing a nerve usually between the 3rd and 4th metatarsal heads.

Causes of Forefoot Conditions

Metatarsalgia and Neuromas are common Forefoot Conditions. The common causes are listed below:


  • Usually due to excessive pressure on the metatarsal heads (ball of the foot) over a long period of time
  • Often caused by improper fitting footwear such as women’s dress shoes and other restrictive footwear
  • Footwear with a narrow toe box (toe area) causes the ball-of-the-foot area to be forced into a minimal amount of space
  • Shoes with elevated heels
  • Participating in high impact activities without proper footwear or arch support
  • As we get older, the fat pad in our foot tends to thin out making us more susceptible to pain in the ball of the foot

Morton’s Neuroma

  • Often caused by pointed-toe footwear, high heels, and footwear with a narrow toe box
  • Constricting shoes can pinch the nerve between the toes causing discomfort and extreme pain


With Metatarsalgia one or more of the metatarsal heads become painful and/or inflamed. Someone with this condition may experience acute, recurrent, or chronic pain on the ball of the foot. Pain from Morton’s Neuroma can often be felt during or after placing significant pressure on the forefoot area. This can be felt while walking, standing, jumping, and sprinting.

Treatment & Prevention

The first step in the treatment of Forefoot Conditions is determining what is causing the problem. Check with your family doctor or Podiatrist (foot doctor) to find the best solution for your pain or discomfort. You can reduce the risk and discomfort of Metatarsalgia and Morton’s Neuroma by following these simple instructions:


  • Choose footwear with a higher, wider toe box (toe area) to allow the foot to take on its natural shape
  • Choose footwear with a deep heel cup plus metatarsal support and padding
  • Wear a professionally-made orthotic constructed with the pad placed behind the ball of the foot to relieve pressure and redistribute weight from the painful area
  • Try placing a piece of moleskin (a thick adhesive type bandage) on top of a pronounced metatarsal support
  • Icing the ball of the foot can help reduce the inflammation in the affected area

Morton’s Neuroma

  • Choose footwear with a higher, wider toe box (toe area) to allow the foot to take on its natural shape
  • Use a quality orthotic-designed metatarsal support. The metatarsal support will pad the ball-of-the-foot to unload pressure and relieve pain caused by the neuroma

Medical information and illustrations furnished courtesy of FOOT.COM

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