Posts for tag: Metatarsalgia
What are the signs of metatarsalgia?
You could be dealing with metatarsalgia if,
- You have foot pain that is exacerbated by standing, walking, or flexing your foot
- Foot pain gets better with rest
- You have a sharp or burning pain in the ball of the foot
- There is a sharp or shooting pain in the toes
- Your toes tingle or feel numb
- You feel as if you have a stone in your shoe
What causes this foot problem?
Certain factors can certainly increase your risk of developing metatarsalgia. These risk factors include,
- Experiencing stress fractures in the toes
- Wearing high heels or shoes with a narrow toe box
- Being overweight or obese
- Having certain foot deformities such as bunions or hammertoes
- High arches
- Intense or endurance exercises such as long-distance running
You can ease metatarsalgia pain and discomfort on your own through simple lifestyle changes including,
- Avoiding certain activities and exercises that make the pain worse (e.g., running)
- Wearing properly fitted and fully supportive shoes
- Avoiding high heels or shoes that are too tight
- Placing shoe inserts or padding under the metatarsal bones for further support
- Icing the area multiple times a day
- Taking a pain reliever or anti-inflammatory medication
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.
Metatarsalgia is a painful condition that causes a group of varied symptoms. These symptoms are typically swelling, pain and inflammation in the foot. Cases generally range from mild to severe and can be treated by a podiatrist. If you are diagnosed with this condition, you may be unsure as to why you are suffering from it. The fact is, this condition has many different underlying influences.
Are you overweight?
Weight can be a tough subject to bring up. The truth remains that if you weigh more than you should, all of your excess weight is being transferred to your feet. This adds more pressure and stress to the feet while they are in movement. As we age, the fat pad on our foot starts to get thinner and wear out. This fat pad protects our feet from pain. When it gets thin, and extra weight is put on the body, there is less protection and a higher risk for metatarsalgia. If you lose weight it may help cure the condition or lessen its severity.
If you are wearing a pair of shoes that do not fit you correctly, you are providing your body with an open avenue for foot pain. Shoes that have a small and narrow foot box or cause a lot of pressure to the forefoot can lead to metatarsalgia. Shoes that fit poorly also make you alter your gait. An altered gait can cause more pressure on the forefoot which can lead to pain.
You are plagued with a bunion or arthritis
Bunions and arthritis weaken the big toe and the ball of the foot. The pain from these conditions can cause a patient to alter their gait. This altered gait creates more pressure on the ball of the foot and the forefoot, which can lead to the swelling, inflammation and pain that this condition is so well known for.
If you are suffering from any type of foot pain, it is important to see a podiatrist immediately. What you might think is a small problem can turn into a bigger one. Call Dr. Alan J. Discont and Dr. Krahn of Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC located in Chandler, Arizona. The number is 480-732-0033 or make an appointment online today. Let’s stop the underlying cause before it gets out of hand.