Metatarsalgia may sound like a complex and terrifying condition. Don’t be alarmed. It is simply named after the location on your foot. It describes commonly experienced pain and inflammation in the ball of the foot, where the metatarsal bones are located.
Each foot has five metatarsal bones that connect the toes to the arch. These bones endure a great amount of pressure and weight from standing, walking, running, and jumping. When excess pressure is placed on the metatarsal heads, you are at risk for developing this condition.
What Causes Metatarsalgia?
This forefoot injury affects people who frequently participate in high impact activities such as running and jumping. It is a condition brought on by overuse. There are many contributing factors including: persistent activity, prominent metatarsal heads, weak or tight toe muscles, hammertoe, tight Achilles tendon, bunions, poorly fitting shoes, excess weight, or excessive pronation when walking or running. Certain foot shapes, such as having high arches, may also cause metatarsalgia. Because of the numerous possible causes, it is most often considered a symptom of other conditions, rather than a specific disease. It may also result from a change in your gait or irregular weight distribution.
The Symptoms May Vary
Recurring pain at the end of one or more of the metatarsal bones is the primary symptom. The sharp ache feels as if you’re walking with a pebble in your shoe. Metatarsalgia sufferers will also experience a burning sensation at the sole of their feet, directly behind the toes. Sometimes this pain will only affect certain toes and sometimes it will cause a number of them to tingle or go numb. Symptoms typically worsen when pressure is placed on the feet, especially when barefoot, and improve during times of rest.
The rate at which these symptoms occur may vary. Sudden development occurs if you’ve recently increased the amount of impact placed on your feet. In other cases, the pain occurs gradually over a period of several months. Exposure to high impact and trauma causes symptoms to worsen.
What are the Treatment Options?
Talk to Dr. Hal or Orozco if you’re experiencing pain that last longer than a few days. If you encounter a burning sensation at the ball of your foot that doesn’t improve after modifying your level of activity you may have metatarsalgia. If left untreated, this ailment may cause pain in other parts of your foot or even in your lower back and hips.
This condition can be treated through periods of icing and rest. Our podiatrists may recommend not putting weight on the affected to for 24 hours after your initial consultation. Range of motion tests and ultrasounds may be conducted to determine the severity of your foot trauma.
Metatarsal pads or other corrective orthotics will provide relief and support. It is important not to disrupt the healing process. Impact should be monitored closely with a severe decline in physical activity. Continue to follow through with stretching and strengthening exercises, put in place by your doctor, until the condition has subsided.
The trained professionals at Aadvanced Foot Care Associates want to get you back on your feet as soon as possible. We understand how hard it is to be sidelined due to pain and will do everything we can to keep that time minimal. Schedule an appointment today! Click our appointment request button or call one of our offices located in Rego Park (718) 896-4433, Plainview (516) 822-9595 or Flushing (718) 969-2266.