If you are experiencing a pain in the ball of your foot, you may have a condition called metatarsalgia which is a nerve problem that affects the nerves running along the metatarsal bones of the foot.
The symptoms of metatarsalgia may include:
- Aching or burning pain—in the ball of your foot
- Increased pain during activity—that significantly decreases during rest
- Shooting pain—tingling, and numbness in your toes
- A lump in your shoe—frequently the feeling caused by metatarsalgia is referred to as a sense that you have a pebble in your shoe
The causes of metatarsalgia
One or more of the following factors are usually involved:
- Carrying extra pounds—A large amount of your weight is absorbed by the ball of your foot when you move, so losing those extra pounds will take some of the pressure off your metatarsal bones, and decrease the symptoms.
- Stress fractures—These hairline breaks in the metatarsal bones or bones in the toes can cause extreme pain. Stress fractures can also alter the way you walk, causing other difficulties further up your spine.
- Foot deformities—Wearing tight fitting shoes or high heels can cause your foot to become misshapen, contributing to the formation of bunions and hammertoes that are often linked to metatarsalgia.
- Training too hard—The front of the foot absorbs much of the pressure during activities such as high impact sports, increasing the risk of this problem occurring.
- Flat feet—Arch abnormalities can increase pressure on the metatarsal bones, contributing to this condition.
Treatment for metatarsalgia:
Often, conservative treatments such as resting and wearing properly supported footwear with orthotic inserts will alleviate symptoms. If your metatarsalgia is accompanied by other foot problems such as a bunion or hammertoe, surgery may be necessary to realign the metatarsal bones.
Several conditions have symptoms similar to metatarsalgia, so it is important to see your foot specialist for a proper diagnosis. The foot specialists at ETL Podiatry in Briarwood and Melville, NY, have unparalleled experience in treating all aspects of foot and ankle problems. Our team of doctors is dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, NY (631-549-8637) and Briarwood, NY (929-336-4523).