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Metatarsalgia

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Metatarsalgia, also known as ‘stone bruise’ describes a condition of pain that affects the ball of your foot. It usually affects people who are athletic, and those who are often running or landing on their feet during intense physical activity. Other types of patients include those who do not wear proper footwear, and have caused years of defect to their feet.

Metatarsalgia is common, and most people who suffer from it are known to have it as symptom of something else. It is often diagnosed to those who have faced a foot injury. The pain varies, and it may affect only one or two toes, and sometimes the whole foot or both feet. If pressure from weight is put onto the foot, metatarsalgia will worsen.

Causes:

  • Extreme Exercise/Athletics
  • Hammertoes
  • Bunions
  • Ill-Fitting Shoes
  • Stress onto the Foot
  • Excess Pressure onto the Feet
  • Constant Standing
  • Weight
  • Stress Fractures
  • High Arched Feet/Flat Feet

All of these things cause breaks or problems onto the metatarsal heads of the foot. When that area is affected, metatarsalgia is imminent. Most people won’t realize that they are injuring their metatarsal bones, because it’s not a commonly known part of the foot. Take time to study foot anatomy so you can see where exactly the Metatarsalgia bones run, and how you are effecting them with your daily activities.

Symptoms:

Symptoms of metatarsalgia can either come suddenly or gradually over time.

The most common symptom of metatarsalgia is severe pain at the ball of your foot.  Pain can range from a striking pain, to sharp aches and even a burning sensation. There might also be pain behind your toes, right where the ball of your foot is.

This pain is known is be prolonged after you stand up or walk. Pain increases as you increase physical activity, so things like running and jumping that are strongly pressuring your feet will cause even more pain. This is known to go away after you rest your foot. You may feel a tingling or numbness is areas of the foot, your toes might also feel a numbing sensation

It’s important to wear shoes if you suffer from, or think you might suffer from metatarsalgia. Putting pressure onto your bare foot will cause immense pain, and make the condition even worse.

Treatments:

Support to the foot is the first go-to method of treatment for metatarsalgia. Arch support or insoles can help ease the pain when doing everyday walking. Specific metatarsal pads are also available to place into your shoe. These pads are designed to give you extra support right at the ball of your foot where metatarsal bones are.

Others might be wearing the wrong shoes completely. If you find yourself often wearing shoes that provide little to no support, a simple fix might be to simply try a different pair of shoes.  

For pain, general pain killers will take care of inflammation. This method is temporary, and only reduces immediate pain and discomfort. If you pain is more severe, ask your doctor to prescribe a stronger pain medication that you can safely take throughout the day.

You can also ice the affected area, as well as rest the foot. By not putting stress onto your foot, you are preventing any further injury.

In only the rarest cases is surgery considered to treat metatarsalgia. Surgeons can perform realignment surgery to the metatarsal bones. This is only offered to people who have had no success from the other methods of treatment, or those who don’t wish to take pain medication or relax their foot. Surgery is minimally invasive and provides long term relief for metatarsalgia.

Metatarsalgia can be treated with the best treatment available in medicine today. Let West Medical be the answer to all your metatarsalgia needs. If you think you may have metatarsalgia or want to discuss treatment options, call West Medical at (855) 690-0565 today. We look forward to hearing from you!

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