It’s that time of year again when Wimbledon takes over and the UK catches a case of the annual tennis bug.
Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic has famously been suffering with Morton’s neuroma, so we think a huge ‘congratulations’ is in order for him overcoming his neuroma, and bagging second place at Wimbledon.
But what if you’ve not been as lucky as Mr. Raonic, and your Morton’s neuroma is holding you back from getting back onto the courts? Well, at The Barn Clinic we know tennis (and we LOVE tennis). Having treated a Wimbledon Men’s Champion, we like to think we’re pretty knowledgeable about the unique strains and requirements that tennis places on our feet.
Of course everyone’s heard of tennis elbow, but you might be surprised to learn that the most common tennis injuries are related to the foot and ankle.
Here are our top tips for managing that Morton’s neuroma pain and keeping your feet comfortable during tennis season.
Our Top Tennis Tips for Morton’s Neuroma Sufferers
1. Find that perfect fit
Our number one tip to budding tennis players is find the right shoe for you. This is because tennis involves a lot of ‘side to side’ movements and the forward and backward steps are often accompanied by abrupt stops. This means your feet will require more support on the outer aspect, also known as (lateral) and your feet. We would recommend never using running shoes for tennis as they will not have enough support on the outer aspect (lateral) and they will not have adequate length or width meaning you will be more likely to develop issues such as bursa and Morton’s neuroma.
2. Go Pro
Feet fall into 3 categories: Neutral, Overpronator or Underpronator
Getting your shoes fitted at a tennis-specific shoe shop will ensure you having the correct shoe type for your foot type. Most tennis shops will have trained employees on hand to find the best fit for you and your feet. Not only will these keep your feet happy, but it’ll also help you get the most out of your game.
3. Go Big(ger) or Go Home
We always recommend going up half a size with Tennis shoes. The abrupt side-to-side movements and forward and backwards stops often mean that your feet are forced against your shoes. In particular, the sudden forward movements can often cause your toes to squash up into the front of the shoe, causing bruising and irritation to the toes and forefoot.
By going up a size, you’re allowing your feet more movement and a little extra cushioning.
4. If all else fails…
But what if you just can’t find your glass slipper? That perfect tennis shoe? Well, some feet just require some extra help.
There are some foot-types that simply cant be helped with even the best Tennis shoe. This is when you look to devices such as orthotics. Orthotics are devices that slip into your shoes and correct the biomechanical issues. Off-the-shelf orthotics are readily available, but we typically recommend getting some custom-made orthotics that are moulded to your feet, with a prescription that’s right for you.
Morton’s Neuroma Treatment for Tennis Players
Making your feet comfortable can go a long way to relieving the symptoms of Morton’s neuroma and can stop the condition from arising in the first place. For some people though, this isn’t going to do the trick, and getting rid of the Morton’s neuroma once and for all is the only way forwards. For those people there are number of different Morton’s neuroma treatment options available.
We would not recommended conventional Morton’s neuroma surgery to tennis players. Not only is the recovery time long enough to take you out of action of an entire season, but there’s also a high risk of a stump neuroma developing. At The Barn Clinic we use cryosurgery for Morton’s neuroma instead. For advanced cases of Morton’s neuroma, this is by the far the best treatment option available.