What is Metatarsalgia?

Metatarsalgia (pronounced “met-uh-tahr-SAL-juh”) is an ailment in which the ball of the foot becomes inflamed and tender. You may be prone to developing it if you active in and jumping. Other causes include related foot deformities or ill-fitting shoes that are either too tight or loose.

While metatarsalgia is generally considered a serious foot condition, it can sideline some. Fortunately, home based treatments, which include ice packs and rest, often relieve its symptoms. Wearing supportive footwear with shock-absorbing insoles or custom arch supports might help prevent or minimize future problems with metatarsalgia.

Some symptoms of metatarsalgia include:

  • Burning or Sharp, Aching Pain in the ball of the foot
  • Pain that worsens when you stand, run, flex your feet or walk, particularly when barefoot on hard surfaces
  • Numbness or tingling feeling in your toes
  • A “pebble” like feeling in your shoe
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What Causes Metatarsalgia?

 Most often, several contributing factors are involved in the development of metatarsalgia, including:

Stress Fractures

Small breaks in the bones of the toe can be painful and change the way one puts weight on the foot.

 Improperly Fitted Shoes

Poorly sized shoes or high heels, which transfer extra weight to the front of the foot, are common causes for women. Shoes with narrow toe areas or athletic sneakers without support or padding can also contribute to the development of metatarsalgia issues.

Overweight Individuals

Because most of the body’s weight transfers to its forefoot when moving, these additional pounds lead to additional, exponential pressure on your metatarsal zone. Weight lose can help minimize this risk or reduce symptoms.

 Intense Training or Very Active Lifestyles

Very often, long distance runners are at high risk for developing metatarsalgia problems. Because the front of the foot absorbs significant impact force while in running motion, anyone who participates in high-impact sports are at risk, especially when wearing poorly fitted shoes.

Morton’s Neuroma

This growth of fibrous tissue around a foot nerve usually occurs between the third and fourth metatarsal heads. It can cause symptoms similar to metatarsalgia and also contribute to metatarsal stress.

Treatment Tips

Rest. Rest. Rest.

Strive to protect your foot from further injury by not imposing excess stress upon it. Elevate the foot after standing or walking or avoid a favorite sport for a while. Remember: it’s possible to stay fit with low impact exercises like swimming, yoga and cycling.

Icing the affected area

Applying ice packs to the affected area for about 30 minutes at a time several times a day can help relieve Metatarsalgia pain.

 Over-the-Counter Pain Reliever

Aspirin or over the counter pain relief products like Motrin or Advil can help reduce pain and inflammation.

Wearing Properly Fitting Shoes

You should avoid wearing shoes that are too loose or too tight. Avoid high heels, non-supportive shoes or sandals.

Metatarsal Pads

Off-the-shelf pads can be placed in shoes immediately in front of the metatarsal area to help minimize stress from the affected, sensitive areas.

Consider Custom Arch Supports

If over the counter insoles don’t offer relief, your doctor may recommend custom arch supports to minimize the stress imposed on the metatarsal area and improve the foot ’s function.

When these measures don’t help

or if an individual is also suffering with foot conditions which include hammertoe, surgery to realign the metatarsal bones might be worth considering.

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Metatarsalgia sufferer using Corefit Orthotics

Podiatrist use Corefit Custom
Orthotics to treat the pain and
symptoms that accompany

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