8 Facts About Metatarsalgia

8 Facts About Metatarsalgia

  • 1.) Metatarsalgia is a condition affecting the metatarsals of the foot. Metatarsals are the bones in the foot, which connect the toes to the rest of the foot. Metatarsalgia affects the head of the metatarsals, called the ball of the foot, which becomes inflamed and painful. The ball of the feet has a significant role in weight distribution. Metatarsalgia commonly affects the second metatarsal but can affect any of the metatarsal heads.
  • 2.) Predisposing factors of Metatarsalgia are
    • Excessive pressure on the ball of the foot due to frequent jumping and running. Common in athletes.
    • Foot deformities like high arch foot, hammertoes deformity, or long second metatarsal bone.
    • Wearing inappropriate footwear like too tight or too loose shoes, high heels.
    • Bunions or calluses.
    • Being overweight or obese.
    • Tight Achilles tendon or toe flexors.
    • Faulty foot biomechanics.
    • Morton’s Neuroma- fibrous thickening of the neural tissue between the metatarsal heads at the toe joints, resulting in a pinched nerve. Usually, it occurs between the 3rd and 4th metatarsals.
    • Rheumatoid arthritis or Gout affecting the foot.
    • Diabetes
    • Stress fracture of the foot.
    • Old age- loss of metatarsal fat pad occurs with aging.
  • 3.) Conservative treatment includes icing the affected painful area, rest from aggravating activities like walking and running, using insoles, arch supports, metatarsal pads, or bars to support the inflamed area.
  • 4.) Metatarsal pads help to redistribute the load and relieve the inflamed area from pressure. Metatarsal pads are applied just proximal to the metatarsal heads. It consists of silicone gels.
  • 5.) Some severe cases may require steroid injections or surgical correction of the bony deformity or issues or to fix the alignment of the metatarsal bones. Other options include treating the underline medical condition like arthritis.
  • 6.) Gentle stretching and strengthening exercises do help in Metatarsalgia.
    • Ankle ROM exercises
    • Calf stretching.
    • Plantar fascia stretching.
    • Heel raises.
    • Massage by rolling a golf ball or spiky rolling ball back and forth under the foot.
    • Toe scrunches with a towel -Sit on a chair and spread a towel under your feet. Then, curl your toes to bring the towel under your mid-foot. Keep scooping the towel by curling your toes. Repeat 3-5 times.
    • These exercises help in decreasing pain associated with metatarsalgia.
  • 7.) Kinesio taping helps by providing a cushion to the metatarsal heads, improves circulation, and places metatarsals in optimal healing positions. In combination with other conservative measures, it helps in reducing the inflammation due to metatarsalgia.
  • 8.) Full recovery from metatarsalgia is possible. Recovery time varies from days to even 6-8 weeks, depending upon the underlying condition.

STAY INFORMED! STAY HEALTHY!

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