Wonder what running, dancing, and wearing high heels share in common? They can all cause pain in the ball of the foot, which is referred to as metatarsalgia. Try saying that 3 times quickly! The area where the base of the toes connect to the metatarsal bones is where metatarsalgia strikes, causing inflammation and pain. Sudden falls, trauma, foot irregularities and poor choice in shoes can exacerbate the condition, and as the metatarsalgia becomes more and more painful, your mobility can be affected.
Other factors that increase the chances of acquiring metatarsalgia are deformities in the feet such as high arches or hammertoes, being overweight, and diseases such as arthritis. The severity of discomfort can vary, but advanced cases can cause pain to extend to all of the toes.
You’re probably thinking, this won’t happen to me, but it can happen to anyone, which is why you need to take the proper precautions to help your feet rise above metatarsalgia.
What to do if you develop metatarsalgia
- Get plenty of rest.
- Use the proper footwear that has ample space and provides a stable and supportive environment for your feet. Refrain from wearing high heels as they can push your toes against the front of your shoes and aggravate metatarsalgia.
- If overweight, try to achieve a healthier weight to reduce the amount of pressure being placed on your metatarsal bones as it can cause huge benefits with regards to alleviating pain in your feet.
- Place ice on the injured areas of your feet to reduce swelling.
- Take anti-inflammatories.
- Elevate your foot when you feel pain.
- Consult with your podiatrist to discuss other methods such as steroid injections to reduce significant inflammation if conservative methods discussed above are not helpful.
Stavros O. Alexopoulos, DPM is located in Chicago, Illinois, where our foot doctor, Dr. Stavros O. Alexopoulos, can provide you with quality and proven care that will go a long way to helping reduce the effects of metatarsalgia on your feet. Please make an appointment by calling our office at (773) 561-8100 and view our Patient Education Library for helpful information about this and many other foot and ankle conditions so that you can do your best to fight them early on.