If you have pain in the ball of your foot, a podiatrist might diagnose you with metatarsalgia. Metatarsalgia is a repetitive strain injury that involves inflammation in the area. This isn’t typically a serious condition, although it may require that you refrain from physical activities for a while.
Signs and Symptoms
The hallmark symptom of metatarsalgia is pain that is localized to the ball of the foot. The pain will usually become more severe during weight-bearing activities, such as walking and jogging. Prolonged standing might also aggravate the area. Some patients notice that the pain worsens when they walk barefoot, particularly on hard surfaces like tile floors compared to soft surfaces like carpeting. The pain of metatarsalgia may be described as a burning, aching, or sharp sensation. Numbness and tingling in the toes may occur. You might also feel as though you have a small pebble in your shoe.
Causes and Risk Factors
It’s common for multiple causes and risk factors to contribute to a patient’s foot pain. Metatarsalgia often affects athletes who train at a high intensity and who participate in high-impact sports. Wearing worn out or poorly fitted shoes, and wearing high heels can contribute. Some people suffer from metatarsalgia because of the structure of their feet. A very high arch and a second toe that is longer than the big toe are both structural problems that can lead to metatarsalgia. Other causes and risk factors include the following:
- Overweight and obesity
- Morton’s neuroma
- Stress fractures
- Inflammatory arthritis
After diagnosing you with metatarsalgia, your podiatrist will likely recommend that you keep weight off the affected foot for a while. The regular application of cold packs and the use of a pressure bandage can help relieve the pain. Your podiatrist might also recommend the following:
- Change in footwear
- Metatarsal pads
- Passive range of motion stretches
For all of your foot health concerns, you can put your trust in Family Foot Center in Whitestone. Our podiatrist maintains an uncompromising commitment to healthcare excellence. Call us at (718) 767-5555 and let us know how we can help you feel better.