Common Condition of the Foot: Metatarsalgia

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Common Condition of the Foot: Metatarsalgia

Metatarsalgia is the painful condition occuring in the sole of the foot. The high impact activities causes inflammation in the metatarsals; leading to pain.

One or more of the metatarsal heads become painful and/or inflamed, usually due to excessive pressure over a long period of time. It is common to experience acute, recurrent, or chronic pain with metatarsalgia. Ball-of-foot pain is often caused from improper fitting footwear, most frequently by women’s dress shoes and other restrictive footwear. Footwear with a narrow toe box (toe area) forces the ball-of-foot area to be forced into a minimal amount of space. This can inhibit the walking process and lead to extreme discomfort in the forefoot.

Determining the causes of Metatarsalgia

Other factors can cause excessive pressure in the ball-of-foot area that can result in metatarsalgia. These include shoes with heels that are too high or participating in high impact activities without proper footwear and/or orthotics. Also as we get older, the fat pad in our foot tends to thin out, making us much more susceptible to pain in the ball-of-the-foot.

Common Condition of the Foot: Metatarsalgia

Metatarsalgia

The first step in treating metatarsalgia is to determine the cause of the pain. If improper fitting footwear is the cause of the pain, the footwear must be changed. Footwear designed with a high, wide toe box (toe area) and a rocker sole is ideal for treating metatarsalgia. The high, wide toe box allows the foot to spread out while the rocker sole reduces stress on the ball-of-the-foot.

Get Custom Orthotics for your foot

Unloading pressure to the ball-of-the-foot can be accomplished with a variety of footcare products. Custom Orthotics designed to relieve ball-of-foot pain usually feature a metatarsal pad. The orthotic is constructed with the pad placed behind the ball-of-the-foot to relieve pressure and redistribute weight from the painful area to more tolerant areas. When orthotics are used with proper footwear, you should experience significant relief.

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What is an Orthotic

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