Metatarsalgia And Forefoot Pain

Metatarsalgia And Forefoot Pain

Pain In The Ball Of Your Feet

Are you experiencing pain under the balls of your feet? Do you have pins and needles or numbness in your toes? Feels like you’re standing on a stone? No you’re not going crazy, you may be experiencing one of a number of possible conditions! Pain in this area is known as metatarsalgia and can often be debilitating, so it’s important to visit your Randwick Podiatrist and have it assessed as soon as possible.

What are the causes of metatarsalgia?

As the balls of your feet are made up of bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons and nerves, there are a number of reasons why you may be experiencing pain. The medical word for pain in this area is ‘metatarsalgia,’ which is a term for all types of pain in the ball of your foot. It is important to properly assess your injury and understand the root cause of your pain. Here are some possible contributing factors:
  • Excessive physical exercise
  • High heels/ poorly fitted shoes
  • Arthritis
  • Toe deformities, such as hammer toes and bunions
  • Having a high arch, short big toe or a second toe longer than the big toe
Possible diagnoses: Given the extensive anatomy of the forefoot, there are a number of possible diagnoses for metatarsalgia. These may include:
  • Capsulitis – Inflammation of the joints in the ball of the foot, caused by excess pressure on this area
  • Plantar plate sprain / tear – An injury to the ligaments that support the joints of the ball of the foot
  • Neuroma – Inflammation and degeneration in the nerves that run through the balls of the feet. This often causes shooting, burning, stabbing, numbness or radiating pain
  • Sesamoiditis – Inflammation of the small bones under your big toe joint
  • Callus and corns – A thickening of skin often found under the ball of the foot, caused by excess pressure in the area.
  • Stress fracture: Tiny cracks in the bone from repetitive use

What can we do about metatarsalgia?

The most important thing you can do to manage the pain under the balls of your feet is to undergo a proper assessment and management plan by your local podiatrist. We will be able to assess the underlying condition and assure you’re set on a good treatment path. Possible options may include:
  • Footwear recommendations
  • Strengthening and stretching exercises
  • Orthotic therapy
  • Shockwave therapy
  • Strapping and taping strategies
  • Education regarding activity management
There are also some at home remedies you can try to help you get out of pain!
  • RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) – If your pain has only been present for a couple of days, you can try this. Rest and elevate your feet where you can, and utilise ice to decrease your pain and reduce inflammation
  • Wear shoes you find comfortable
  • Manage your daily activity – don’t push through pain!
  • Pain medication – Panadol and Nurofen may help in the short term
If you have been managing pain in the ball of your feet that is not subsiding, visiting a podiatrist will allow for a speedy diagnosis and recovery. We are experts at managing foot pain of all forms and will be happy to help you get back on your feet in one piece! Call The Movement Centre to book now.
Disclaimer: The Movement Centre provides this information as an educational service. The information contained on this website and in this blog is not intended to serve as or replace actual medical advice. Anyone seeking specific advice or assistance should consult their local Randwick Physio, general practitioner, medical specialist, or otherwise appropriately skilled practitioner.