If you are experiencing swelling or tenderness, please Schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists as soon as possible.
What Is Metatasalgia?
Metatarsalgia is a condition characterized by pain and inflammation in the ball of the foot, specifically in the area between the toes and the arch of the foot. It is often caused by excessive pressure or overuse of the metatarsal bones, which are the long bones in the foot that connect the toes to the midfoot.
Symtoms For Metatasalgia
The primary symptom of metatarsalgia is pain in the ball of the foot, which may be described as aching, burning, or sharp in nature. The pain is typically worsened by standing, walking, running, or activities that put weight on the front of the foot. Other common signs and symptoms of metatarsalgia may include:
- Tenderness or sensitivity in the affected area.
- Swelling or inflammation.
- The sensation of having a small pebble or foreign object in the shoe.
- Numbness or tingling in the toes.
- Difficulty bearing weight on the forefoot.
Metatarsalgia can have various causes, including:
- Excessive pressure or stress on the metatarsal bones, often due to high-impact activities, repetitive motion, or poorly fitting footwear.
- Foot abnormalities, such as high arches, flat feet, or hammertoes, which can alter the distribution of weight on the foot.
- Foot deformities, such as bunions or Morton’s neuroma, which can contribute to metatarsal pain.
- Overweight or obesity, which increases the load on the feet.
- Age-related changes, such as thinning of the fat pads in the ball of the foot, which can reduce cushioning and increase pressure on the bones.
Treatments For Metatasalgia
Treatment for metatarsalgia typically involves a combination of conservative measures to relieve pain and reduce pressure on the affected area. These may include:
- Resting and avoiding activities that exacerbate the pain.
- Applying ice packs to reduce inflammation.
- Wearing comfortable, well-fitting shoes with adequate arch support and cushioning.
- Using orthotic inserts or metatarsal pads to redistribute pressure and provide support.
- Taking over-the-counter pain relievers to manage pain and inflammation.
- Physical therapy exercises to improve foot strength, flexibility, and alignment.
- Modifying activity levels and gradually returning to physical activities to avoid overloading the foot.
- Addressing any underlying foot abnormalities or deformities that contribute to the condition.
In some cases, if conservative measures do not provide sufficient relief, additional interventions such as corticosteroid injections, custom orthotics, or surgical options may be considered.
If you are experiencing persistent foot pain or suspect you have metatarsalgia, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional, such as a podiatrist, who can evaluate your symptoms, perform a thorough examination, and recommend appropriate treatment options tailored to your specific condition.