27 June 2015

Way Too Long with Morton's Neuroma

Goodbye, Morton's Neuroma. I have struggled with Morton's Neuroma for way too long, months, years. It's been one of the crappiest running injuries I've had, and it seems like it's in the distance now....kind of.

I'm a librarian, so I did tons of research on Morton's Neuromas. Tons. I read the Mayo Health Clinic's website a ton, and Jonathan Savage's page. I posted on my FB page (tons of friends there are runners) and on the Ultra list and another trail running group. Everyone said something different, everyone had their own cures (or not). I emailed Karl Meltzer (sigh....ultrarunning heartthrob!). Here's my story, what worked for you, and what may or may not work for you.

I felt a numbness on and off in my foot for a while. My podiatrist didn't specifically identify it as Morton's Neuroma, but said that I had inflammation and I needed to rest. Haha, very funny, Dr. Morgano. I took anti-inflammatories and stretched and kept going. I noticed that it got waaaay worse with my Altra Intuitions (sob sob because they def were comfy in other ways). It was better on trails, worse on roads. My doctor recommended I switch to Hokas; that helped for a while, but ended up being not enough.

I had a ton of pain from Morton's Neuroma during the Brooklyn Marathon, so much that I went straight home after instead of celebrating w food w Menachem. I didn't know what was going on. It kind of got better. I ran a 50k a few weeks later on trails with no foot pain. Hurrah. And then I did a half marathon in Central Park for NYC Runs and was pretty much limping towards the end. I finished with tears in my eyes. I went to my doctor, and this time, said I needed something more drastic. I was going to Ecuador for a month, and didn't want to deal with pain. He gave me an injection in my foot, during which I screamed and deafened the entire population of Tribecca. Sorry. 

I ran the next day, and yep, pain. Argh. I went away, packing a smaller pair of running sneakers, which was a massive mistake. I had pain a lot - while walking around different cities, on hikes, on the beach. On a trip of a lifetime, all I had was pain. It sucked really bad.

I went back to my doctor after I came back. He told me not to run, and I said I didn't want another injection. I tried venus fly trap extract and serrapeptase. Neither made any kind of significant difference (though I took each for at least a month or two). I said I was supposed to run the Miami Marathon; maybe I should drop to the half? He said the half was even pushing it.

I reduced. I changed shoes. And I ran the half and it sucked. I ran super slow, had tons of pain and went straight into medical when I was done.

I got another injection. I took off two weeks. It got better. But then, it would get worse.

The next five months became hell of experiments. Here are some things I learned that actually help:


  • There is no one panacea. Some people swore their neuroma disappeared when they started running in Hokas; others said the same of Altras. Neither worked miracles for me (and my Altras were minimalist so may have contributed to the issue).
  • Take time off if it hurts. There's no such things as "running through Morton's Neuroma." It will get worse. And you will be unhappy - and in pain. When it starts to hurt, stop running. Go home.
  • Contrast baths (5 min hot, 5 min cold, 5 min hot, 5 min cold) may or may not help.
  • Yogatoes really helped alleviate pressure and I find it necessary to wear them pretty much every day.
  • Foam cushioning helped tons. I got the super thick foam cushioning moleskin they sell at Rite-aid. I cut a big teardrop, and then before applying, put a layer of benzoin tincture on the foot (it helps things stick better). Then apply. Wrap in Ktape tape so it stays on (literally, for over a week). Your feet are gross when you finally take it off, but this helped me so much.
  • Throw out too-tight shoes. They will hurt your feet more. 
  • Heels and tight uncomfy dress shoes suck. I worked at home a bunch to take care of my shoes.
  • Build back up really slowly. Stick with lots of trails if you can (provided they're not too rocky).
  • Take up a new hobby. Keeps your mind off lack of running.

1 comment:

webman said...

Time off running has cured every injury when anti inflammatory injections and pills have failed. Xtraining is not a dirty word.