Morton’s Neuroma

A Morton’s neuroma is a thickening of the tissue around one of the nerves leading to your toes. Most commonly it occurs between your 3rd and 4th toes. It is also most common in middle aged women and early intervention is important.

Symptoms of a Morton’s neuroma include, tingling, numbness, burning, or pain at the ball of the foot. A common report is symptoms mimicking something stuck to the bottom of your foot.

One of the most common causes is improper footwear. Wearing shoes without much support like flip flops, high heels, and flats can cause a compression and irritation of the nerve. Other causes are previous foot problems and repetitive damage from sports.

Early treatment should include ice and changing footwear. If symptoms persist, consult with your local physical therapist. Physical Therapy would include massage to the foot, stretching, and exercises. This works to help to decrease inflammation and increase blood flow to promote healing. A physical therapist can also educate you on proper foot wear and orthotics. Injections may be needed to help decrease the inflammation. If conservative measures are not successful, surgery is performed to release pressure on the nerve.

“No Pain, No Gain” Theory

When working out, it is normal to feel fatigue and muscle burn with strength/endurance training. But you should be aware of the difference between muscle fatigue versus pain. If you experience pain while working out, you should stop the activity you are doing. Pain can develop from inflammation, bad form with exercise, and overuse of a specific muscle. Pushing yourself too far could lead to an injury that can prevent you from doing the sports or exercises you enjoy. Use ice to decrease the pain developed from the exercise. If your symptoms do not lessen with ice and rest, visit your local physician or physical therapist.

X-ray vs. MRI

An x-ray determines the alignment and condition of your bones. Examples of things x-rays can display are deformities of the spine, fractures, bone spurs, tumors, spaces between the discs of the spine, and infections.

MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging. MRI’s will determine the condition of your muscles/ligaments and the discs in your spine.  Your doctor may not order an MRI initially. Typically no matter what is displayed on the MRI, a physician would recommend physical therapy as the first form of conservative treatment.  An MRI will help the doctor determine if surgery is required for your injury.

Food Safety in the Summer

Food can spoil easily on hot summer days; follow these tips to prevent spoiling your fun with food borne illness. 

  • Plan picnics to include foods that don’t require refrigeration: fruit salad vs. pasta salad (mayo can spoil), PB and J vs. meat sandwiches
  • If the temperature outside is above 90 degrees, food cannot stay out for longer than 1 hour

 Practice Safe Food Handling Techniques:

  • Wash hands, utensils, and food preparation surfaces – moist towelettes are a quick and easy choice for your hands when playing outdoors
  • Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables with water before packing
  • Serve safely keeping cold foods cold (<40 degrees) and hot foods hot (>140 degrees)
  • Don’t cross-contaminate: wash all surfaces very well that have touched raw meats and juices.  Keep raw meats wrapped so that juices don’t touch other foods
  • When preparing salads, chill ingredients before combining (even canned tuna should be chilled before mixing in the mayo!)

Transport Foods Safely:

  • Transport perishables as quickly as possible, and cook immediately or refrigerate
  • Keep perishables refrigerated until just before leaving
  • Consider packing beverages in a separate cooler from perishables
  • Meat, poultry, and seafood may be packed frozen so it stays colder longer
  • Plan food portions to avoid leftovers; place condiments in small containers
  • Place cold foods in an insulated cooler with ice packs and don’t pack up until you’re almost ready to leave. You can also nest perishables in bowls of ice to stay chilled
  • Carry your cooler in an air-conditioned car and place in the shade; keep the lid closed as much as possible
  • Discard leftovers if they have been out of the cooler for longer than 1 hour; if you have to question it – throw it out!

Written by Julie Katz Registered Dietitian- Baltimore, MD