Educational Articles

Neuromas: Conventional vs. Natural Approaches

Posted By Marty Hughes, DC


The above content is for educational or informational purposes only and is not intended to replace or augment professional medical instruction, diagnosis, or treatment. Read full disclaimer here.

Related articles:


Posted By Robyn Hughes, ND

A neuroma is an often painful enlargement of one of the body’s nerves. Though neuromas can develop in any part of the body, they most commonly occur... Read more

Neuromas & Natural Foot Health

Posted By Marty Hughes, DC

A neuroma is the thickening, or enlargement, of a nerve segment. Neuromas can develop in any part of the body, states Dr. Ray McClanahan, a natural sports... Read more

April 16, 2015
Josie Reside

Curious about your thoughts on the Newton running shoes. I have been dealing with plantar fasciitis and also possibly some Achilles issues. My chiro also thinks I have a Morton’s neuroma due to a symptom of numbness in my forefoot, particularly when running, and also on occasion the feeling of a pebble in the middle of my forefoot, below the toes, but that is sporadic. I went from a shoe with an 8 mm drop to a 4 mm drop. Is that good enough or should I be looking at zero drop?

April 16, 2015
Natural Footgear

Hi, Josie,

Thank you for your message. We can’t comment on the specifics of your injuries without a full medical history and in person examination). We can tell you, however, that it’s very important for running shoes to provide enough space in the toe box to allow your toes to splay. Tapering toe boxes, as well as toe spring, are a leading cause of plantar fasciosis. To our knowledge, Newton running shoes have both of these characteristics.

Moving forward, we’d recommend reading the following articles. Each provides comprehensive information that might be helpful for you.

Plantar Fasciosis:

Definition of a Healthy Shoe:

Feel free to contact us at with any other questions!

Kind Regards,
Andrew Potter

May 24, 2015
donna prawdzik

If I have a neuroma in the left foot must i wear a metatarsal pad in the right?

June 14, 2015
Natural Footgear

Greetings, Donna,

Thank you for your inquiry. In our experience, we have found that metatarsal pads are best used on both feet simultaneously, and that they are useful for a number of purposes (above and beyond helping to address foot neuromas):

I hope this information is helpful. Wishing you all the best in addressing the health of your feet!

Sarah K. Schuetz

December 14, 2016
Glynis McKeon

I have just come across this video clip by accident and I am so intrigued! I have two neuromas in the third and fourth interspaces of my foot. I went to a foot surgeon to find out what was causing this pain. The surgeon convinced me that the way forward was to have two ligaments cut to release the nerves otherwise I would have permanent nerve damage. I had the surgery six months ago. I am now so sorry I had the surgery, as it was a failure, and now I am worse off with the scar tissue.

I am for sure going to order the Correct Toes toe spacers and give them a go, but I’m a bit unsure what size to order. I love the idea of the toe socks and the Primal 2 shoes too.

You have given me hope that I could possibly be able to run and play racket sports again!

December 14, 2016
Natural Footgear

Hi, Glynis,

Thank you for your message. I’m glad you enjoyed the video and have drawn hope and inspiration from our site and message!

In terms of Correct Toes sizing, we have found that most women do best with the Medium size, as this size is recommended for anyone who wears a US women’s size 7 to 12 shoe.

I hope this info helps!

Kind regards,
Marty Hughes, DC

December 15, 2016
Bill Bradley

I have a problem with my left foot, such that no matter how loose I tie my shoes I have pain on the upper part of my foot. It sounds (and feels) like I may have a neuroma in that foot. I am in the Denver, Colorado area—do you have a recommendation for a podiatrist for me to see about this issue? Thanks.

December 15, 2016
Natural Footgear

Hi, Bill,

Thank you for your comment. I’m sorry to hear about your foot pain! Here are another couple of resources for you that discuss the topic of neuromas:


Neuromas & Natural Foot Health:

You might consider checking out this list of healthcare providers to see if there is one in the Denver area. Most of the practitioners on this list have at least some familiarity with natural foot health concepts and approaches:

My recommendation is to call these providers first to get a better sense of their foot health philosophies.

Good luck to you!

Kind regards,
Marty Hughes, DC

February 09, 2024

I had neuroma surgery (two neuromas were decompressed but not removed) in January of 2020. It was supposed to be a 2-week recovery, but the problem is worse than before the surgery, and every step is painful now on the bottom of my foot (burning, stabbing pains). Would the toe separators help me?

February 09, 2024
Natural Footgear

Greetings, Jen. Thank you for your comment and question. We’re sorry to hear that you’ve been experiencing ongoing foot pain following your neuroma decompression surgery. Unfortunately, this is a fairly common occurrence with invasive procedures such as this, as the surgery, in many cases, fails to address the true underlying cause of the neuroma and may generate significant (painful) scar tissue and lead to foot instability.

When it comes to neuromas—an enlargement of a portion of a nerve—we’ve found that the most helpful approach is to adopt footwear that possesses a sufficiently wide toe box, as this reduces or eliminates the pinch forces that, in part, trigger the development of the neuroma in the first place. The other footwear factors that contribute to the development or ongoing irritation of the affected nerve are heel elevation and toe spring, common design inclusions in conventional footwear that serve to unnaturally stretch the nerves in the foot. Footwear that’s completely level from heel to toe, then, eliminates this problematic stimulus and assists in recovery.

So, being judicious in your footwear selection is one way to start the healing and rehabilitation process. Another possible approach is to combine said footwear with the toe separators, Correct Toes (, that you inquired about. Correct Toes helps splay your toes in their optimal anatomical configuration, which helps reduce pressure on the interdigital nerves—the nerves in which neuromas most commonly form in the foot. Another helpful item to deploy is Pedag metatarsal pads ( These pads help spread the metatarsal bones and reduce focal pressure on the affected nerve as it travels through the ball of the foot. A metatarsal pad will also help restore your forefoot fat pad to a position that protects ball of foot structures, including the interdigital nerves.

Here are some additional resources from our site that you might find helpful:


Neuromas & Natural Foot Health

Metatarsal Pad Placement

Six Ways to Restore Foot Health After Surgery

Of course, every set of feet is unique, and the approaches that work well for one person may not work for someone else. That’s why it’s important to be evaluated by a foot care professional who can offer you personalized advice based on your specific case and presentation. We always recommend consulting with a health care provider before implementing any strategies or approaches designed to restore foot form or function, so that you have as many options available to you as possible.

We hope this info helps! Please feel free to leave a follow-up comment here or reach out to us via our site’s contact form:

Yours in Foot Health,
Drs. Marty & Robyn Hughes

Join The Discussion

Please note that we do not provide medical advice or comment on specific health problems.

Comments need to be approved before showing up.