Metatarsalgia is a type of neuralgia wherein a nerve is inflamed because of irritation due to compression. When 1 of your metatarsal bones overlaps another, the nerve in between them becomes agitated. As it affects the nerve itself, this condition can bring about intense pain specifically at the ball of the foot which is comprised of the big toe all the way to the fourth metatarsal bone.
Causes of Metatarsalgia
Also referred to as ball of foot pain, Metatarsalgia is caused by a number of factors.
- Footwear – slipping on shoes that offer very limited space for the toe box area restricts your movement causing your toes to press and grind against each other. This is precisely why Metatarsalgia is more prevalent in middle aged women who constantly wear pointed stilettos and high heels despite the discomfort and pain it brings.
- Physical Activity – engaging in high impact activities without the right foot protection can also trigger pain in the ball of the foot.
- Genetics – individuals who are born with naturally high arches or those with uneven legs are more likely to place additional stress to their foot’s metatarsal heads.
- Thickened Skin – if you constantly torment your tootsies with ill-fitting shoes then you are bound to end up with corns, bunions and calluses. While these thickened skin form part of your foot’s defenses to protect against further skin irritation, over time, however, these deformations can lead to Metatarsalgia.
- Foot Disorders – certain conditions such as stress fractures, muscle strain, fluid retention and rheumatoid arthritis may also be to blame for developing ball of foot pain.
- Obesity – packing on extra pounds can place unnecessary pressure on your soles that can also trigger pain which is why pregnant women and overweight individuals are more likely to develop this condition.
- Nerve Problems – when one or more of your nerves are suffering from pain, it will eventually spread to the other parts of your foot until it reaches your metatarsal bones.
Depending on the severity of your condition, treating Metatarsalgia can range from something as simple as changing your shoes to something as drastic as surgery.
- Go from high heels to flats – a simple way to prevent ball of the foot pain is by changing to more comfortable flats or sneakers that allow for extra breathing space for your tootsies.
- Get additional support from orthopedic inserts – if needed, your podiatrist can also recommend orthotic pads to prevent the strain from falling on your metatarsal area.
- Ask for a prescription – to bring about pain relief, your doctor may also recommend the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen.
- Surgery – when all else fails, having the affected nerve surgically removed or your metatarsals re-shaped is guaranteed to end your fight with Metatarsalagia.
Ideal Feet’s Solution to Metatarsalgia Pain Relief
Wearing proper fitting shoes and good arch supports will alleviate pain in your metatarsals. Ideal Feet products are designed to realign the bones, joints, and arches of the feet. By taking the pressure off of the metatarsals and spreading it among the four arches in your foot, you can walk pain free.