Posts for category: Metatarsalgia
Metatarsalgia denotes a common foot condition characterized by pain and inflammation of the joints and bones of the ball of the foot - the area just before the toes, also called the metatarsal region.
Symptoms of metatarsalgia can develop suddenly, especially after an increase in exercise or high-impact activities, but normally the problems develop over time. Common symptoms of metatarsalgia include:
- Sharp, aching or burning pain in the ball of your foot - the part of the sole just behind the toes
- Pain that intensifies when you stand, walk or run
- Pain that radiates from the balls of the feet into the toes
- Numbness or tingling in the toes
- A feeling in your feet as if you are walking with a pebble in your shoe
- Pain that increases when walking barefoot
Sometimes a single factor can trigger metatarsalgia. More often, multiple factors contribute to the pain, including:
- Over-training or Over-activity. Extensive training and high-impact sports, especially running, places an abnormal amount of stress on the balls of the feet, causing irritation, inflammation and pain.
- Other foot disorders. High arches, hammertoes, bunions, stress fractures and Morton's neuroma can all trigger metatarsalgia symptoms.
- Poor-fitting footwear. High heels, narrow-toed shoes and shoes without adequate padding can all contribute to metatarsal problems.
- Excess weight. Extra weight places excess pressure on your metatarsals.
- Aging. The fat pads on the metatarsals thin out as a person ages, diminishing the ability of the metatarsal bones to protect themselves.
Although generally not serious, metatarsalgia can disrupt your day to day activities, and when left untreated can lead to additional pain in your unaffected foot, back or hips. Treatment to eliminate metatarsalgia symptoms can be as simple as resting, icing the affected area and wearing proper-fitting shoes to significantly reduce swelling and ease pain.
When conservative treatments aren't effective and pain persists, visit our practice for a full exam and a proper diagnosis. In most cases, metatarsalgia can be treated non-surgically. An experienced podiatrist may prescribe specially-designed orthotics or shock-absorbing insoles and arch supports to prevent and minimize future problems with metatarsalgia.
We all expect to have some aches and pains after a hard workout. But when do aches and pains become signs of a more serious problem? Do you ever have long lasting foot pain after a workout or spending a long time on your feet? If you answer yes to that question, you might have a more serious condition called metatarsalgia. Metatarsalgia is caused when the muscles in the ball of your foot become irritated and inflamed. This can happen from high impact exercises like running or from standing for long periods of time. While those are the most common causes, metatarsalgia can also be cause from poor fitting shoes, excessive weight, or small fractures, called stress fractures, in the foot. People who have arthritis or are prone to gout are more likely to develop this condition.
Some people describe the pain and irritation as having a pebble in their shoe. While it often starts out as an irritating, uncomfortable pain, it can soon progress into unbearable pain leaving the person unable to walk. Metatarsalgia can also cause pain the legs and lower back due to the inflammation throwing off a person’s natural gait. If these symptoms sound like something you or someone you know have been going through, don’t hesitate to call our office and make an appointment. Something as simple as proper footwear can make your symptoms disappear and never come back. Call today for an appointment!