Metatarsalgia is the swelling of the joints between the metatarsal foot bones and phalanges toe bones due to surplus pressure being placed on the joints from routine activities or high intense undertakings. This condition causes pain in the front of the foot that intensifies when bearing weight on the foot. This pain gets significantly worse when pushing off the foot as it takes steps and is amplified during high intense sporting activities due to the amount of stress being placed on the feet. Factors that increase the likelihood of acquiring this condition are recurring high intense activities such as running or jumping and shoes that do not fit correctly and squeeze the front of the foot. Moreover, lacing up shoes too firmly will also apply unusual amounts of pressure on the front of the foot, leading to potential swelling of the metatarsal bones.
Treatment for metatarsalgia includes:
- Using anti-inflammatories or painkillers to help alleviate inflammation.
- Applying padding to prevent the front of the foot from being exposed to high-pressure forces.
- Use of insoles to help absorb friction and shock forces. These can be especially helpful during high intense sporting activities.
- In general, it helps to use shoes that are roomy to help ensure the foot is not being squeezed throughout the day.
- Physical therapy, including calf muscle stretches, is particularly helpful.
- Have a podiatrist prescribe X-rays or MRI’s to review the inside of the foot for any severe injuries that can be causing pain in the metatarsal bone region.
- Utilizing custom fitted orthotics to help redistribute pressure away from problem areas.
- Your podiatrist may be able to inject a corticosteroid injection for relief from inflammation.
This condition can cause significant pain that can be heightened by sporting activities. At Stavros O. Alexopoulos, DPM located in Chicago, Illinois, our foot doctor Stavros O. Alexopoulos, DPM, has the experience to provide your feet with the best chance of reducing pain caused by this condition. Please make an appointment by calling our office at (773) 561-8100 and explore our Patient Education Library for further helpful resources.