Morton’s neuroma is a common neuropathy of the common plantar digital nerve, usually causing pain between the third and fourth toes. Characterized by a swelling of tissue surrounding one of the nerves that leads to the toes, it can feel like standing on a pebble in your shoe. Other symptoms include stinging, burning, or numbness.
Approximately one in three people have Morton’s neuroma, and women are almost ten times more likely than men to develop it, likely due to shoe styles. Depending on the severity, Morton’s neuroma treatment options can include changing footwear with better arch support, steroid injections into the affected area, decompression surgery, or removal of the nerve if other treatments are unsuccessful. Without prompt treatment, Morton’s neuroma can cause permanent nerve damage.
Shockwave therapy offers a non-invasive, drug-free treatment option. By targeting the neuroma with high-intensity acoustic pressure waves, shockwave therapy can accelerate healing, stimulating metabolism and enhancing blood circulation to the affected area.
A randomized, placebo-controlled trial published in the Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association studied the efficacy of shockwave therapy for Morton’s neuroma. Patients were divided into two groups, one receiving shockwave therapy and other receiving sham stimulation.
Researchers measured changes in patient pain, function, and neuroma size. At baseline then one week and four weeks after treatment, visual analog scales (VAS) and American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society lesser toes (AOFAS) scores were performed.
Patients who received shockwave therapy enjoyed significantly improved VAS scores both one and four weeks compared to baseline, while AOFAS had similar results after four weeks. In the sham group, VAS and AOFAS scores showed no significant changes at any time. Researchers concluded shockwave therapy could reduce pain for Morton’s neuroma patients.
A similar study compared a shockwave therapy group and a sham group then evaluated patients one, six, and 12 weeks after treatment using the VAS score. Again, the shockwave therapy group showed significant difference before and after therapy, whereas the sham group had no significant difference. These researchers concluded shockwave therapy could be an alternative to surgical excision for Morton’s neuroma.
One of the great advantages of shockwave therapy is that many devices are mobile, so practitioners can treat clients anywhere, including the comfort of home, which is ideal for patients experiencing foot pain. If you would like to learn more about integrating the many long-term benefits of shockwave therapy into your practice, contact us today by dialing 1 (888) 741-SHOC(7462) or by visiting our website.