Therapeutic Massage Provides Pain Relief to a Client with Morton’s Neuroma: A Case Report

Faith Davis, BA, RMT, NCTMB, AOS


Background: Morton’s neuroma is a common cause of pain that radiates from between the third and fourth metatarsals and which, when symptomatic, creates sensations of burning or sharp pain and numbness on the forefoot. Many conservative and surgical interventions are employed to reduce associated pain, but not enough research has been conducted to recommend patients to any one approach as the most reliable source of pain management.

Purpose: The objective of this case report is to describe the effect of massage therapy on one woman with symptomatic Morton’s neuroma.

Participant: A physically active 25-year-old female with diagnosed symptomatic Morton’s neuroma who has not found relief with previous conservative intervention.

Intervention: Six session of massage therapy once weekly for 60–75 minutes focused on postural alignment and localized foot and leg treatment. The client also completed an at-home exercise each day. Change was monitored each week by the massage therapist reassessing posture and by the client filling out a pain survey based on a Visual Analog Scale.

Results: The client reported progressive change in the character of the pain from burning and stabbing before the first session to a dull, pulsing sensation after the third session. She also recorded a reduction in pain during exercise from a 5/10 to 0/10 (on a scale where 10 is extreme pain).

Conclusion: This study describes how massage therapy reduced pain from Morton’s neuroma for one client; however, larger randomized control studies need to be done in order to determine the short- and long-term effects of massage therapy on this painful condition.


intermetatarsal neuroma; foot health; entrapment neuropathy; Mulder’s sign; forefoot; deep transverse metatarsal ligaments

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International Journal of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork
ISSN 1916-257X