What is Metatarsalgia?

Pain that originates under the ball of the foot is technically known as metatarsalgia. Runners and athletes generally experience this condition owing to excessive wear and tear of the region. This article tries to gain further insight on the topic.

Having high arched feet, undergoing intense training program, wearing poorly fitting shoes, overweight, fracture caused by stress, a condition called Morton’s neuroma, Hammertoe condition and developing a swollen and painful bump at the base of the big toe are some of the possible causes of this condition.

Symptoms of Metatarsalgia:

  • Tingling or numbness in toes
  • Worsening of pain while standing, walking or walking and feeling relaxed on sitting
  • Worse pain experienced when the toe is flexed.
  • Pain in the ball of the foot
  • Sharp shooting pain in the toes
  • Burning sensation in the toes
  • Worsening of pain when walking is tried on a hard surface
  • Walking sensation of a pebble in the shoe
  • Pain around the big toe

Though the signs mostly appear when stress on the toe is increased by physical activities, they become serious only over a period of time. Awareness of the above mentioned signs can compel the patients to take care of their foot and strain the affected region much. Athletes involved in running, jumping and soccer should be particularly careful while dealing with this condition. Patients who have other foot problems, obese people and those who wear high heeled shoes are also at the risk of developing the signs.

There are several other foot problems which mimic the signs of this condition. On visiting the doctor, a detailed description of the lifestyle followed should be presented. Only then, the possibility of this ball of foot pain can be singled out from the rest.

Treatment of Metatarsalgia:
Taking adequate rest, wearing properly fit shoes and applying ice packs on the affected area for 20 minutes when hurt can prevention complications. Trying arch supports and shock-absorbing soles can be beneficial. For dealing with excessive pain, pain relieving drugs like ibuprofen, naproxen or aspirin should be taken on doctor’s prescription.

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