Find out more about this common foot issue and how to treat it
Metatarsalgia(met-uh-tahr-SAL-juh) a mouthful of a name for a common but painful problem. Metatarsalgia refers to a common overuse injury and describes inflammation and ball of foot pain in the metatarsal region of the foot which is the area just before the toes.
Symptoms and Causes
The primary symptom of metatarsalgia is a pain at the end of one or more of the metatarsal bones, where the middle three toes meets the ball of the foot. The pain will usually become more pronounced when walking, running, or doing high-impact sports. Athletes will often suffer from this condition which can then lead to other problems if not addressed. Most often, the symptoms begin to show up over a period of several months, rather than all at once. The initial problem may be created by a particularly rough impact, but the long term effects will not be known until much later.
The foot can be injured during many different kinds of activities, especially sports. As with many other overuse injuries, the condition may be the result of an alteration in normal biomechanics that then causes abnormal weight distribution (such as favoring a certain side, or overcompensating for another injury). Persistent use and stress can also cause chronic irritation in your feet.
Because it is a general description for a certain type of pain, there are many causes of metatarsalgia. Some conditions may predispose you to forefoot problems. High arches, hammertoes, or a long second metatarsal bone are some of these conditions. If not already predisposed, the following factors can cause excessive localized pressure over the forefoot:
Treatment and Recovery
When you see a physician for a diagnosis, they will probably check a few different things. They will begin by examining your foot and then asking a bit about your lifestyle: your hobbies, how active you are, what kinds of daily activities you have in your routine, where the pain is, and what aggravates it. Then they may ask you to do a “gait test”. Your gait, or the way that you walk and how you plant your foot, can actually say a lot about where the trouble is and what is causing it. They may ask you to walk on a special treadmill that can tell them how you distribute your weight and where any pain points could be. If more information is needed, the physician may ask you to do some imaging tests (such as an MRI or x-ray) or blood tests to check for a possible underlying condition. Once you have a sure diagnosis of metatarsalgia, which is not life threatening in any way, you will be directed to try a few things to ease discomfort and avoid further injury. Here are some tips on how to reduce pain from metatarsalgia:
In almost every case of metatarsalgia, a doctor will recommend that their patient find new footwear that will help relieve the pain caused by this disorder. At KURU, our shoes are made to help people recover and move on from the many foot problems that trouble people everyday. The broad toe box in some of our styles allow for flexibility in the front of your foot while the innovative insole foam creates a shoe that is molded to your foot and gives you the support right where you need it. We even have a system that can help your foot take an impact more safely as you walk or stand for longer periods of time, and that means less wear on your hardworking feet. If you are tired of finding special insoles or trying shoe after shoe with no relief, give KURU a try and see what a difference it can make. You will feel like you are walking on clouds in no time!