6 Easy Ways To Do Morton’s Neuroma Test: #2 Is The Best

One of the things that makes Morton’s Neuroma easily misdiagnosed is the fact that the condition is often mistaken for a stress fracture. Like a stress fracture, the pain between the fourth and fifth toes intensifies during activities and diminishes with rest.

The swelling at the top of the foot is another symptoms that both conditions have.

Runners, in particular, are prone to getting neuromas because of the constant pressure the foot experiences.

Treating Morton’s Neuroma like a stress fracture will only delay your recovery and may even perhaps make this worse.

The best way to guarantee a speedy recovery is to make a speedy diagnosis. How can you make sure you diagnose your condition as a Neuroma? What is the most effective way to test for Morton’s?

In this article, we will show you how to perform Morton’s Neuroma test that will help you know whether you have the condition. 


6 Morton’s Neuroma Test

These are the top six tests you can do at home. We will also give you a brief overview of what clinical imaging tests are performed to diagnose the condition conclusively.

What you will need for this tutorial

  • Running shoes to test run
  • A stool for resting your foot

Test #1: Symptom Analysis Test

The first way to try and diagnose whether you have Morton’s is to test yourself for the symptoms.

The next time you go for a run, notice whether you feel like there is a stone in your shoe. If the answer is yes, try removing your shoe and massaging the area. Does it feel relieved?

  • This is the first sign of Mortons. (1)

Another symptom you can check for is a tingling, burning or numbness in the ball of your feet.

A neuroma is the thickening of the nerves between the toes that puts pressure on the ball of the foot making it numb. (2)

Lastly, if the pain or numbness you feel increases when you walk or put pressure on your foot and decreases at rest, you may have the condition.

Although we all feel the pain and numbness at one time or another, specifically feeling it on the ball of your foot is a sign of Morton’s.

  • When doing the test, try and locate where the pain or numbness is coming from.

Test #2: The Metatarsal Squeeze test (Lateral Squeeze Test)

This is the second test that can help you diagnose your condition. Although the test is often done by a professional, there is no harm in trying it yourself. The Lateral squeeze test is used to detect the neuroma. (3)

To perform the test:

  • Place your foot in a relaxed position like resting on a stool.
  • Then, grasp your foot at the metatarsal heads which are located under the ball of your foot.
  • ​Squeeze the foot to compress the nerves.
  • You will know if the test is positive if there is a pain when your foot is squeezed.

Test #3: The Mulders Click Test

This test is similar to the Lateral squeeze test but the difference is instead of pain, you hear a “click” when you squeeze.

To perform the test: 

  • ​Squeeze your toes together by gripping with your index and thumb on each side.
  • ​Then with the other hand, press from top to bottom in an attempt to move the neuroma.
  • ​When you are pressing, try and focus on the space between the metatarsal heads which separates your toes.
  • If you hear a click, it is likely that you have Morton’s Neuroma.

Test #4: The Gauthier's Test

Like the Mulders and Lateral squeeze test, this test is also performed by squeezing the metatarsals together. With your metatarsals squeezed, try and move the second and third toes up and down for about 30 seconds. (4)

The test basically mimics being on your feet and doing physical activities such as walking. After the 30 seconds, examine how you feel. You are positive if you start experiencing pain after the test.

Test #5: The Digital Nerve Stretch Test

A study conducted showed that the digital nerve stretch test was one of the most effective ways to diagnose Morton's neuroma.

To perform the test:

  • ​Put your ankle in a dorsiflexion position.
  • You can do this by having your foot flat on the ground and then raise your foot as high as you can while your heel remains on the floor. (5)
  • ​Normally, all your toes should be extended in full.
  • If you have possible Morton’s, the affected toes do not extend in full and you experience pain.

Test #6: The Thumb Index Squeeze Test

According to one study that examined the affectivity and accuracy of different Morton’s tests, the Thumb index squeeze test produced 96% sensitivity and 96% accuracy. This makes it the most effective and conclusive tests you can perform.

To perform the test:

  • ​Place your foot in a relaxed position such as on a stool.
  • ​Then, place your index finger and thumb on either side in the space between your affected toes.
  • ​Then, squeeze them together as if you want them to touch each other.
  • If you experience a sharp pain when squeezing, you likely are positive of Morton’s. (6)

Clinical Tests For Morton’s Neuroma

Before you can be totally sure that you have Morton’s Neuroma, your physician may advise you to take some clinical tests. By using imaging tests such as x-rays, ultrasound, and MRI, your condition can be confirmed and you can start treatment.(7)

These tests are used to complement the clinical tests that a foot and ankle doctor may have already performed.


Although an x-ray will not show the neuroma which is a nerve and not a bone, it can help rule out other conditions. Stress fractures, for example, can clearly be diagnosed with an x-ray.

If your x-ray doesn't show a stress fracture, at least you know you are looking at something else such as a neuroma


According to one study, out of 23 ultrasounds performed, 13 were positive and 10 were negative. (8) This means using Ultrasound imaging has a 56.5% accuracy to confirm the condition.

  • If you are positive, well-defined lesion in the inter-metatarsal space between the affected toes is visible on the ultrasound.

MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)

In the same study mentioned above, out of the 41 MRIs were performed, 34 were positive and 7 were negative. This means that MRI sensitivity was 82.9% making it a more accurate diagnosis technique for Morton's.

  • If you are positive, the MRI will show a dumbbell or ovoid shaped lesion in the position of the inter-metatarsal space of the affected toes.

What To Do If You Are Positive

After multiple Morton Neuroma tests are conducted and you are diagnosed with the condition, you will need to select your preferred treatment method. Treatment methods are often categorized into two- conventional methods and effective methods. (9)

The conservative methods include taking practical steps to reduce pain and discomfort but do not remove the neuroma. These steps include:

Another option is using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications which can be purchased over the counter. These medications only reduce pain. Physical therapy can also be performed.

The operation is, unfortunately, the only way to correct the problem. During surgery, the neuroma is removed. However, we have to note that complications are common after surgery.


Early diagnosis is one of the most influential weapons you have against Morton's Neuroma. You don't have to go to a physician to get a diagnosis immediately.

The moment you feel the symptoms described in step 1, perform the four other steps. The thumb-index squeeze test, in particular, has a high rate of accuracy so make sure you include it.

If you are positive in multiple tests, you ought to consult a physician to confirm your suspicions. Remember that these tests are not conclusive and you will probably undergo one or more clinical test to provide physical evidence. 

Being able to diagnose Morton’s as soon as possible ensures that the condition does not end your running career. We understand how much you love your sport and hope the information we provided will guide you to success.

Did you enjoy the information presented in the article? Have you experienced any of the symptoms before? Have you diagnosed yourself yet? Which test did you try? We’d love to hear all your thoughts in the comments below. Also, make sure to share this article with fellow runners.

Amber Irwin

Hi everyone. I'm Amber a running and sports writer. I love to share my passion with fellow outdoor lovers and hope to establish a community here. I believe running is an amazing sport for everyone and hope to inspire others with my words. Welcome to my fantastic blog!

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