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Morton's Neuroma--pain base of outer toes
Posted by TundraDancingGal
8/28/2015  2:35:00 PM
I've been a social dancer for two years and am now taking private lessons in addition to group with instructors at our Art Center. I've had minor problems with my feet, but since I'm dancing more, it's gotten worse. I rotate between several pairs of 1 1/2"- 2 1/2 shoes, open toe and closed practice Saddle Shoe/Latin styles. The pain makes me have to stop dancing and take my shoe off. Once the nerve doesn't have pressure on it, the pain goes away. I need to find a way to keep dancing, but address the problem. What's intermittent now could become constant. Rest,ice and proper shoes are the key.

Are there better, lower, supportive (i.e. ugly) practice shoes I should be buying? I've been invited to dance in an exhibition with my instructor so I'm really excited but know that I have to nip this in the bud before it becomes chronic. Any suggestions? Sadly, I will cut back a bit for the next few weeks and I hope this helps.
Re: Morton's Neuroma--pain base of outer toes
Posted by nloftofan1
8/29/2015  11:37:00 AM
Others are better qualified to recommend shoes. My purpose is to mention what you probably already know: Morton's Neuroma frequently leads to surgery. My wife (and regualar dance partner) has had surgery for Morton's Neuroma. After the surgery (a) there was no numb area of her foot, and (b) it didn't interfere with her dancing. Good luck to you.
Re: Morton's Neuroma--pain base of outer toes
Posted by TundraDancingGal
9/1/2015  12:49:00 PM
Thanks for the reply NL, I'm hoping to prevent this from worsening. I believe with changing my lesson schedule and better cushioning and support I can address this. I had some minor issues years ago and stopped wearing those walking shoes. I don't have problems with my regular shoes and I think a new pair of dance shoes and gel inserts will help. For a few weeks I was dancing MUCH more than normal, had gotten a new pair of shoes which made it flare up and did a lot of walking on vacation. I hadn't realized how far this could progress, so once I got more info, it hit home and I hope these changes help. A local vendor has some shoes for me to try so maybe with a double-soled shoe and/or a jazz sneaker for some practices I'll be fine.

Glad to hear your wife's surgery went so well. My sister's didn't, which is what makes me want to get the nerves settled down ASAP.
Re: Morton's Neuroma--pain base of outer toes
Posted by ladydance
9/1/2015  1:03:00 PM
I was diagnosed with Morton's Neuroma and was prescribed set of specially made orthotics for my shoes. They made a huge difference right away. I switched to dancing in low heeled practice shoes, most of the time. I now can wear latin shoes at social occasions with very little pain. My standard shoes have 2 inch heels and my latin shoes have 2.5 inch heels. I have still have some pain if I dance seriously longer than a hour but not much and certainly something i can deal with. Look into special orthotics made for this disorder, they are expensive but worth every penny.
Re: Morton's Neuroma--pain base of outer toes
Posted by TundraDancingGal
9/2/2015  9:15:00 AM
Dancelady, I'm glad to hear you had success. I just spent an hour looking online for shoes and am working with a local supplier. The good news is I finally found my regular "pretty shoes" in a much lower heel. I'm using a 2.5 and I found it in a 1.3 Cuban or 1.5 medium heel. I used gel soles yesterday in an older pair of stretched out shoes and that really helped. I hope I'm years away from needing custom-made orthotics. I've worked in the medical field for 30 years so that helped me recognize this quickly. I would really love to go with the Cuban heel, rather than the wider medium heel. Do you recommend the wider, medium heel for stability? I much prefer the narrower style but I'll sacrifice beauty for safety if necessary. I just wish I could find the double soled shoes in the style I want and color. I want nude/tan/copper, not black.
Re: Morton's Neuroma--pain base of outer toes
Posted by ladydance
9/5/2015  6:16:00 AM
I have a cuban heel on my practice shoes. I find I lose my ability to dance in standard shoes when I dance too long in flat practice shoes. A few weeks before a comp I start practicing in my 2" standard heels again. There is some pain but it is minor and I don't have any pain the next day. Before my orthotics, I could hardly walk the next day. I tried gel insoles and they weren't enough. I do not want to have surgery so I hope the orthotics and flat shoes are the solution.
Re: Morton's Neuroma--pain base of outer toes
Posted by njdancer
9/5/2015  5:20:00 PM
Just wanted to suggest accupuncture. My mother was diagnosed with Morton's neuroma and she tried everything including shots in the foot. The only thing that provided long term relief was accupuncture in the foot. Over time she was able to go months pain free. Unfortunately you might need to take some time off from dancing but better to let it heal and then get back to dancing. You will probably want to buy a wider shoe with a lower heel as well to keep from having the nerve get pinched. I would suggest a dance sneaker for practice purposes. Wish you luck in finding the relief that works best for you!
Re: Morton's Neuroma--pain base of outer toes
Posted by TundraDancingGal
9/13/2015  4:19:00 PM
Thanks for the positive feed back. I've read a lot about it and came to some of the same conclusions you have. I've gotten a new pair of 1.6" Cuban heeled Very Fine shoes on order in a style that fits me well, but had too high a heel. The toe box is wider, than my other shoes and I'll be going down a whole inch. I also bought a pair of Bloch dance sneakers, but have to order a slightly larger pair. I'm also icing and stretching. A number of people feel the foot issues of fasciaitis and MN are linked to a shortening of the calves, which makes sense to me. I'm also cutting back on dancing, dropping two hours of group and missing some social dances.

I'm praying that all these changes help. I could put up with the pain, but knowing that it could become permanent if I don't get better is really hard. Now as soon as I feel that sharp pain in lessons I stop, take off the shoe, massage the foot and change shoes. So far that's worked. As I've been asked to be in a showcase, in December I'm torn between learning the routine in time (and loving dancing) and fearing that I may do more harm. I've got some medical background and use common sense regarding my health so I won't push it too much. I believe.

Yesterday I was almost in tears in class when the pain started again; I've worked so hard these last two years. I took up dancing at age 58 and in the last few months have made so much progress. I had not idea how much I'd enjoy this and how much it could change me. I'm sure you all understand. Again, thanks.
Re: Morton's Neuroma--pain base of outer toes
Posted by ladydance
9/14/2015  7:10:00 AM
I don't know why you are against orthotics, unless it's the price. Mine were mostly covered by insurance. They have a bump on them which spreads the tendons in the foot so the nerve doesn't get pinched. There is very little swelling of the nerve, hence very little pain. Ibuprofen takes care of that but I rarely need it. I wear my orthotics in my everyday shoes as well so the nerve is not aggravated. I know dancers who have cured their problem wearing orthotices and no longer need them. I'm 60 years old, I am going to dance until I can't anymore so cutting back for a foot issue is not an option for me. Since getting my orthotics, I have never had to stop due to pain.
Re: Morton's Neuroma--pain base of outer toes
Posted by TundraDancingGal
9/14/2015  7:41:00 AM
Ladydance, funny how a certain age seems SO old until you hit that yourself! I'm still trying to accept that number. Yes, I'm avoiding doctors because of our $9,000 deductible. Since my job change and hubby's "retirement" we pay for our own insurance. I'm already on prescription anti-inflammatories for a different issue. I can't imagine what this would feel like if I weren't! I've tried gel soles other dancers recommended, but then the shoes are too tight. I'm still trying those, hoping to get the right mix of shoe and insert.

I didn't realize orthotics work in a different manner. My sister's doctor recommended a toe-pad. Now that I wonder if it works like you're suggesting. Unfortunately, she's stubborn and waited too long for treatment and wouldn't stop wearing heels. Hence the surgery which was only moderately successful. Knowing that others have had good luck with something makes me a bit more optimistic. I'll check some over-the-counter orthotics. I know they may not work quite the same, but it's worth trying.

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