The metatarsal region of the foot is more often known as the ball of the foot. A condition called Metatarsalgia causes pain in this area. Many people can be affected by this foot disorder, including those who put extra pressure on this region during their exercise routines. Joints and bones are affected. Also known as “stone bruise,” pain usually occurs in specific clusters in the foot, and may feel like a stone is in the shoe. Sufferers may notice pain in the second, third and forth toes. Or, discomfort may involve only the big toe. Other symptoms like pain and tingling could be attributed to other conditions, but one marked indicator that it could be Metatarsalgia is that the pain goes away when the foot is rested. Flexing the foot and walking barefoot also results in pain when this ailment is present.

What causes Metatarsalgia?

A change in foot mechanics is often the source of Metatarsalgia. There are five bones that go from your arch to the joints of the toes. This region is a high-pressure area, especially during activities where you are jumping or running. Several things can cause your weight to be distributed differently.

Strenuous activities: One source of trouble can be when a person is involved in an intense athletic training schedule. Check your shoes to make sure that they are in good condition to minimize your risk. Being overweight is another cause of added stress in the metatarsal area. With every pound you gain, you add 3 lbs. of pressure on your feet when walking!

Foot Mechanics: Common foot conditions can also throw your foot mechanics out of balance. If you are changing your gait due to a bunion or hammertoe, the result may be ball-of-foot pain.

Heredity: Genetics can also play a role. If you have a higher than usual arch, you may experience this ailment. As you age, there may be additional cushion around the waist, but the foot loses padding which can be a contributor to discomfort. The shape of your foot and aging are out of your control, but your footwear is your choice.

Footwear: High heels are a major culprit when it comes to “stone bruise.” However, even athletic shoes that are worn out can do your feet a disservice. When choosing a shoe, look for adequate support and width in the toe box to minimize your risk.

What can the doctor do for me?

The pain you’re experiencing is a symptom of another problem, so it’s important to see your podiatrist to find the source and the solution. If you are wearing shoes that are contributing to your pain, Dr. Lawrence Kales can recommend possible alternatives, specific to the mechanics of your foot. Custom orthotics may be prescribed. The doctor may advise rest, icing, and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicine as home care options. Allowing your feet time to heal is very important, so take Dr. Kale’s treatment plan seriously. He will have you back on your feet in no time. With two locations, Spring Hill, and Hudson, FL, we are conveniently located to serve you. Don’t let ball-of- foot pain slow you down. Call or visit us online to schedule an appointment today.