A general term to describe any pain and/or inflammation felt in the forefoot area.
Sharp, aching or burning pain in the ball of your foot.
Laser / Microwave
Medical terminology: metatarsalgia
Metatarsalgia is considered a general term representing pain and inflammation in the ball of your foot rather than a specific disease. It is a common overuse injury and its main symptom is pain at the end of metatarsal bone of one or more toes. This area is considered the ball of your foot and is an area that receives high amount of pressure during weight bearing activity.
Common symptoms are:
- Pain (dull or sharp) or a burning sensation
- Feels like you’re “stepping on a pebble”
- Pain that worsens when you walk or run
- Swollen, feels like the area is “bruised”
The main causes for Metatarsalgia are:
- Excessive pronation (foot/arch rolling inwards)
- Improper footwear (lack of cushioning/support)
- Weak foot muscles
- Foot structure abnormalities (bunions, claw toes)
- Excessive weight/pressure
- Too much active without sufficient rest
How can you treat?
- Proper footwear – shoes that offer sufficient support and cushioning for the intended active.
- Increased cushioning/padding – using over-the-counter gel products to help reduce impact and pressure on the balls of your feet.
- Orthotic – helps reduce overpronation or foot muscle strain that can cause metatarsalgia.
- Injection therapy – steroid injection can help reduce inflammation and pain in the affected area.
- Physiotherapy – stretches/exercises may help improve foot/ankle muscle strength and function which would reduce the chance of metatarsalgia.
Recommendation to prevent the issue:
- Supportive, cushioned footwear: The less pressure on the balls of your feet, the less likely you will develop metatarsalgia.
- Improving foot/leg muscle strength: foot exercises can also help strengthen foot/toe muscles creating a more stable foot which is able to withstand stress that could lead to metatarsalgia.
- Rest your feet! Allow your feet to rest and recover after strenuous activity. If you overuse your feet, they will become tired, weak and unable to function properly!