People with metatarsalgia suffer from intense ball-of-foot or metatarsal pain. The five metatarsal bones act as a shock absorber and if forces are unevenly distributed may become irritated causing pain. This condition is often due to a number of causative factors such as: intense training or activity, foot deformities, foot imbalance, excessive weight, poor foot wear, stress fractures and Morton’s neuroma.
For people who suffer with metatarsal pain, the main symptom is pain in the ball of the foot. Metatarsal pain is most pronounced when walking or engaging in sports.
Other symptoms can include sharp, burning, aching pain in the ball of your foot, usually affecting the second toe. Pain gets worse on standing, running, flexing feet, or walking especially barefoot. Normally symptoms develop over a few months and improve with rest. People often express a feeling of having a stone or pebble in their shoe and may experience tingling or numbness into the toes.
Some people may also experience discomfort when simply wearing shoes.
If left untreated, metatarsal pain can lead to other more serious foot and lower body joint problems, so it is important to consult a podiatrist or physiotherapist.
Treating metatarsal pain depends on the cause, but simple additions such as metatarsal pads to your shoes that help spread the weight will help ease the pain. In addition, orthotics will spread your weight more equally across the bottom of the foot and provide stability to the arch, relieving metatarsal pain.
Our Chartered Physiotherapists can assess your foot to determine which form of treatment would be most suitable for you. Good foot wear which suit your needs and a personalised stretching program can also help.
The causes of metatarsal pain can be attributed to a number of factors, from bone abnormalities to systemic conditions such as diabetes. The most common cause of metatarsal pain is an imbalance in the long bones of the foot.
The metatarsal bones equally share the weight of a person during walking and daily activities. When this delicate balance between bones is disrupted, the result can be mild to intense metatarsal pain. This pain can present difficulties when training, competition or during general daily activities.
Our highly skilled Chartered Physiotherapists have extensive experience in foot biomechanics and foot pain, so you know you are in safe hands.