June 13, 2024

Severe Foot Pain: Get Yourself Checked For Metatarsalgia

Pain in the ball of the foot is referred to as metatarsalgia.

Metatarsalgia is a condition in which the metatarsals, which link the ankle bones to the toes, are inflamed. The metatarsals are a frequent source of pain since they bear your weight when standing, moving, and running.

Numerous factors, including wearing unsupportive shoes, illnesses like arthritis, and engaging in high-impact activities, might contribute to metatarsalgia.

While it might be extremely uncomfortable and interfere with your daily activities, the condition frequently gets better on its own.

Metatarsalgia usually develops over time.

The entire width of the foot may be affected, or only a small portion of it. Both feet or just one could be impacted. The discomfort due to Metatarsalgia may be described as:

  • A burning sensation or pain
  • Tingling or numbness in the toes and sharp pain
  • A sensation that a little stone is wedged beneath the foot
  • The pain gets worse when you are standing up, moving, or jogging.

What causes a dropped metatarsal?

Usually, increasing pressure on the ball of the foot causes metatarsalgia. The following are some typical causes of metatarsalgia:

  • Wearing ill-fitting shoes: High heels or tight fitting shoes can squeeze the ball of the foot into a narrow space, increasing pressure in that area.
  • Being overweight or obese: Excess weight can further increase the pressure on the feet. 
  • High-impact sports: Engaging in high impact sports, such as tennis or jogging, place additional pressure on the feet.
  • An unusual bone structure: High arched, narrow and flat feet can increase the chances of metatarsalgia.
  • Joint and foot conditions: Certain joint and foot conditions such as arthritis, gout, bunions, bursitis, Morton’s neuroma and hammer toes increases the chance of developing metatarsalgia.

People in the older age group and those who suffer from diabetes are more likely to experience metatarsalgia.

How do you fix a dropped metatarsal?

The following steps can help alleviate metatarsalgia and prevent it from returning. These are a few things that you can do at home if your symptoms are mild.

  • Give adequate rest to your feet – Try to put your feet up as often as you can and avoid activities that further worsen the pain. Limit your exercise to low impact activities like cycling and swimming and avoid high impact sports.
  • Ice packs – Applying an ice pack to the affected area for about 20 minutes can give relief
  • Wearing comfortable footwear- Avoid wearing ill-fitting shoes and high heels as much as possible. Choose footwear that has a well-cushioned sole and plenty of room for your feet.
  • Shock-absorbing insoles – They are designed to fit inside your shoes to protect your feet.
  • Maintain a healthy weight – Adopting a healthy, balanced diet and doing regular low impact exercises can help keep your weight in check and reduce pressure on your feet.
  • Over-the-counter pain medication – If you have pain and swelling, paracetamol or ibuprofen could be helpful.

These do-it-yourself remedies can be tried initially to check if the symptoms alleviate.

When to see a Doctor?

It is important to seek medical advice if:

  • In spite of trying self-help measures, the pain does not go away
  • The pain meddles with your normal day to day activities 
  • If the pain is severe followed by a change in the shape of the foot.

The doctors usually order a number of tests such as x-rays, scans and blood tests to check for any underlying conditions. Specialists may recommend customized insoles or orthotics, foot exercises, steroid injections, or surgery, if nothing else works.

In Conclusion:

Living with foot pain that hinders day to day activities can be challenging. One of the common questions from people with dropped metatarsal is, will it ever go away? The good news is metatarsalgia is fully curable with proper diagnosis and treatment. 


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