FIBROMYALGIA and its impact on the feet

Fibromyalgia seems to be becoming more widely recognized as a condition recently and can be found cropping up more regularly when taking medical history from new patients.

The cause of Fibromyalgia is unknown but it is thought that it could be linked to low levels of hormones, disturbed pain messages and poor sleep patterns. The pain if often widespread throughout the body, felt mainly in the muscles and soft tissues, along with chronic tiredness and sometimes headaches, irritable bowel syndrome and depression. The pain can be caused by muscle spasms. Sufferers can become hypersensitive to pain and there are many triggers, such as diet or bright lights – even a light touch can cause extreme pain.

Fibromyalgia is usually a long term condition with no known cure. Often treated with various forms of pain relief, which may or may not be effective, sleep inducing drugs to encourage a deeper sleep so the sufferer is less aware of night time muscle spasms and sometimes antidepressants which can help to rebalance serotonin levels often found to be low in people with Fibromyalgia.


Many Orthopaedic Surgeons have noticed that there seems to be a link between Fibromyalgia and Morton’s Neuroma. Though the association between the two conditions is not understood, upon treatment for Morton’s Neuroma many of the symptoms of Fibromyalgia decrease in severity or disappear entirely. This may indicate that nerve damage or injury plays a large role in causing Fibromyalgic pain. The symptoms of Morton’s Neuroma tend to come and go over time. They are typically exacerbated by physical activity or by wearing certain shoes. Morton’s Neuroma symptoms include:

Sharp pain in the ball of the foot
Pain radiating to the tips of the toes
Burning pain in the second, third or fourth toes
Numbness in the toes
Sensation of a lump between the toes.

There is a small amount of research to suggest that orthotics may help Fibromyalgia patients. With no sign of a cure around the corner, it may well be worth pursuing this avenue in an attempt to re-align the body and reduce pressure concentrations upon the feet.

(by Judy Sutor, BSc(podMed), FPSPract, Podiatrist