Metatarsalgia means pain in the metatarsals or in the ball of the foot. This usually involves a sharp, burning or aching pain in the ball of your foot. Sometimes the pain can radiate into the toes, or the toes can feel numb and tingly. It can also feel like you are walking on a small rock when you put weight through the front of your foot. Pain when you stand, walk or run that improves with rest is normally a good indication of metatarsalgia.
Increased pressure on the ball of the foot can cause or exasperate metatarsalgia. Running, high impact sports, tight ill fighting shoes, high heels, feet that have a high arch or toe deformities and people who carry excess weight. Stress fractures in the metatarsals or toes can also increase pressure on the ball of the foot. These factors can also lead to a morton’s neuroma developing. A morton’s neuroma is a benign (non-cancerous) growth of the tissue that surrounds the digital nerve that leads to the toes. This usually occurs in the 3rd web space, between the 3rd and 4th metatarsal which also increases the stress on the ball of the foot.
Wearing properly fitted shoes with good support and room for an Orthotic insert can help reduce the pressure on the front of the foot and therefore help relieve metatarsalgia. The Orthotic should evenly redistribute pressure over the whole foot reducing stress on the metatarsals. It should also cushion the foot and provide shock absorption. An addition of a metatarsal pad to the Orthotic also helps. This pad increases the support just before the metatarsals which in turn further reduces the stress on the front of the foot.
Would you like to know more about common foot pain problems before making a choice? You may find one of the following blog articles useful:
Achilles Tendonitis Click here to read our ‘Foot Pain – Achilles Tendonitis?’ blog to find out more.
Diabetic Neuropathy Click here to read our ‘Foot Pain – Diabetic Neuropathy?’ blog to find out more.
Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction Click here to read our ‘Foot Pain – Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction?’ blog to find out more.
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome Click here to read our ‘Foot Pain – Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?’ blog to find out more.