Metatarsalgia is a condition that causes pain to the front of the foot under the metatarsal bones, which are located in the ball of the foot. The pain that this condition causes in the ball of the foot usually gets worse with activity and is often felt as a constant aching or sensation of walking on rocks or pebbles. It usually develops slowly over a few weeks, after which pain begins to set in.
Metatarsalgia can be caused by:
- Constant overuse as seen in athletes who perform high intensity activities on a regular basis. This causes swelling in the metatarsal bones and neighboring joints.
- High-heeled shoes that put pressure on the metatarsal heads and lead to swelling.
- Obesity, which also places extra stress on the foot.
- Morton’s neuromas, which affect the nerves between the metatarsal bones.
- Previous foot surgery that may have caused damage to the foot.
- Foot fractures.
- Diabetes, which can cause nerve injury in feet.
Measures to take to treat this condition or prevent it from occurring include:
- Getting plenty of rest with the injured foot elevated.
- Healthy weight.
- Wearing properly fitting shoes with wide toe boxes and low heels.
- Orthotics to relieve pain by decreasing pressure put on the metatarsal bones.
- Physical therapy.
- Anti-inflammatories to relieve pain.
- Controlling diabetes’ symptoms.
Since this condition can cause significant pain when not treated in a timely fashion, please contact a foot care specialist to start getting the balls of your feet back to a pain free state.
Our foot doctor, Stavros O. Alexopoulos, DPM, will strive to treat this condition and improve your mobility in the process. Please call us at (773) 561-8100 or visit us at My Chicago Foot Expert located in Chicago, IL to get a consultation and take some time to review our Patient Education Library to learn more about this and many other foot and ankle conditions that you may be able to prevent by taking the appropriate precautions.