Metatarsalgia is when an individual has inflammation and painful sensations in the ball of their foot, the region between the toes and foot arches. The metatarsals are the five bones positioned at the base of the toes. Symptoms of metatarsalgia include bruising, inflammation, and swelling in the metatarsal part of the foot. Tingling and numbness also frequently occur in an affected individual's toes. Some patients describe pain in the ball of their foot like having a pebble stuck in the inside bottom of their shoe. A physical examination, thorough medical history, and x-rays may be used to rule out other types of foot problems. Most cases of metatarsalgia are treated using conservative measures, including metatarsal pad use, wearing better shoes, and resting. Severe cases that are unable to be managed in other ways may require surgery for treatment.
Metatarsalgia has several possible causes. Learn about them now!
Individuals who participate in long-distance running or activities involving running long distances can develop pain in the ball of their foot as a result of their intense exertion. Track-and-field runners, football players, soccer players, tennis players, and baseball players are more likely to develop metatarsalgia than other individuals. When an individual runs or jogs, most of the force is absorbed by their metatarsals. Excessive force may be placed on the metatarsals when running or jogging if the individual is not wearing proper shoes that help absorb the force. Distance running can cause the metatarsal bones in the individual's foot to squeeze together. There are small nerves that sit in between the metatarsal bones become compressed as a result of the metatarsal bones rubbing together. The nerve becomes inflamed and causes the individual to feel painful sensations as a result. Individuals who are overweight and participate in distance running are more likely to be affected because of the excessive force the extra weight puts on their metatarsals.
Read more about what causes pain to develop in the ball of an individual's foot now.