Metatarsal Pain Explained
Also called metatarsalgia, it affects the ball of the foot, causing tenderness, serious pain and inflammation. The pain usually originates at the end of one or more of the metatarsal bones, which means just running or walking may cause increased pain. While the condition is most often associated with athletes who subject their feet to high impact activities on a daily basis, the average person can develop the condition as well. Over a period of months, the pain worsens, making even daily activities a challenge. Fortunately, sufferers can find relief through a variety of methods.
Symptoms of Metatarsalgia
Symptoms of metatarsal pain can include a sharp, aching or burning pain right behind the toes, but it can also present as general pain and tenderness in the forefoot. The pain may increase when sufferers flex their feet, run or even stand. The toes can become numb and sufferers can experience intense, shooting pains. It can also constantly feel as if you have something hard in your shoes.
Causes of Metatarsal Issues
Runners, soccer players and other athletes who put constant pressure on their forefeet can experience this chronic inflammation and pain, but high impact activities aren't the only cause of the condition. Patients may have malformed feet. Tight or weak toe muscles are also a factor, as are tight Achilles tendons, high arches and hammer toes. Wearing poorly fitting shoes and boots can also cause the problem, so really anyone can suffer from metatarsalgia.
Treatment for Metatarsal Pains
There are several approaches to relieving this condition. Perhaps the most common prescription is rest. Those with metatarsalgia are usually advised to take a break from activities and keep their feet up. Icing the affected area several times a day may help, as may some OTC medications, like ibuprofen. In some severe instances, a doctor may use steroid injections to minimize the inflammation.
Insoles for Forefoot Pain
The orthotic shape of Superfeet is particularly effective at redistributing the pressure that can lead to forefoot pain like metatarsalgia. Expertly designed to cradle the heel and stabilize the foot, the Superfeet shape can help minimize your symptoms and keep pain under control.
Metatarsal Pads or Met Domes can also be very helpful.