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What is Metatarsalgia?

by MASS4D® Insoles

Does the pain in your feet make you feel like you’re ‘walking on pebbles’?

You could be suffering from metatarsalgia – a painful foot condition that develops at the joints, at the base of the toes.

Athletes are typically vulnerable to this condition because of the increased pressure on the forefoot during performance.

This is why it commonly occurs in those involved in high-impact activities such as running, jumping or any other sport which increases the pressure applied on the forefoot.

By learning about this condition and some of the factors responsible for it, you can reduce your chances of developing metatarsalgia and continue pursuing your favourite sport.

Metatarsalgia is felt as pain in the forefoot.

How is it caused

The metatarsal bones of the foot are the five long bones that run from the mid-foot, down to the toes. When the joints between these long bones and toes become swollen and painful, it is called metatarsalgia.

Any activity that causes you to constantly place weight on your forefoot can lead to the development of this condition. For example, runner’s often complain of pain at the base of the toes because of the stress resulting from the forefoot repeatedly hitting the ground.

Similarly, if you’re fond of high heels or tight shoes, you may find it difficult to walk without pain after a while. This is because of the pressure that is consistently placed on the front part of the foot as you walk.

The increase in heel height can impact the mobility and function of the feet in multiple ways. As there is greater distribution of weight on the forefoot, the pressure on the ball of the foot increases.

Most high-heeled shoes have a narrow toe box, which compresses the toes. As there is already excessive pressure on the toes and the ball of the foot, women who regularly wear narrow, high-heeled shoes are more likely to develop metatarsalgia.

Any kind of excessive or repetitive stress will only further aggravate the condition; this is why it is best to avoid wearing ill-fitting shoes or high heels during treatment.

High Heels

It also likely for this pain to become worse for those who end up spending long hours on their feet such as retail assistants or waiting staff. This is because of the pressure from standing on hard flooring on the feet especially with foot posture problems.

Foot posture problems, such as extremely high or low arches, are one of the leading causes of metatarsalgia. This may be because of improper foot movement and insufficient foot contact with the ground.  

In both cases, there is an imbalance in the way the upward pressure from the ground is distributed in your feet. This can end up placing too much weight on your toes, which may be unable to bear this excess weight.

The same is true for an obese person. As the feet are unable to withstand the extra weight placed on them, it is common for the arches to flatten over a period of time.

This leads to an uneven distribution of weight across the bottom of the foot which can gradually cause pain and inflammation in different areas of the foot, including the forefoot.

Foot Pain Relief, Injury Prevention, Better Posture and Sports Performance in One Insole     know more

Managing pain symptoms 

You can treat the symptoms of metatarsalgia by first visiting a foot specialist who can determine the severity of your condition.

In case your foot pain in unbearable, he/she may recommend over-the-counter medication that can help in providing temporary relief from the pain.

In extreme cases, it is possible that steroids may have to be injected into the painful area. However, since these injections have many side effects, they should be used as sparingly as possible, and only if your foot pain has become unbearable.

You can also try ice therapy at home by applying an ice pack on the painful region 10-15 minutes every hour. This will help in numbing the area and reducing pain for a short while.

Ice Therapy

Mild foot pain can also sometimes be treated with pain-relieving foot creams or lotions that are available in most pharmacies. These are a relatively inexpensive way of reducing foot pain and have minimum side effects.

Foot exercises such as the golf ball roll can also help provide relief from pain in the feet. This is a simple exercise that only requires a golf ball.

Slowly roll a golf ball under your feet for 2-5 minutes. This will help improve blood flow and ease pain in your feet.

Please keep in mind that it is not enough to merely treat the pain caused by metatarsalgia while ignoring the real cause of the problem.

Pain relief may only be temporary with the use of medications or topical creams – what is really needed is a true understanding of foot posture problems and the measures that can be taken to manage it.

Treating foot posture problems 

The big toe joint is built to support approximately 60% of one’s bodyweight, with the other 40% falling to the four smaller joints.

When poor foot posture such as a flat arch causes excess weight to fall on the smaller joints, it creates swelling and pain of the joints and bursae in the area.

This is why it becomes necessary not to ignore foot posture problems for long. As not only will your feet move improperly, but they’ll also be at an increased risk for foot conditions such as metatarsalgia.

You can find out whether you have foot posture problems such as flat arches by standing in front of a mirror. Observe the middle portion of your foot. Does it look curved or flat?

Shoes With Insoles

One of the preventable factors responsible for bad foot posture is obesity. This requires a strong commitment to a healthy lifestyle that should include lots of exercises and clean eating.

Obesity needs to be taken care of before the onset of painful foot conditions, otherwise you’ll have a hard time losing the excess weight. This is because placing any pressure on your feet may become too painful and may limit your movements considerably.

You can also practice strengthening and stretching exercises to help in normalising the structure of your feet. A good exercise to follow is the towel scrunch.

This involves placing a towel under one foot and grabbing it by the toes until you reach the edge. Repeat this for the other foot for at least five minutes each day.

Additionally, consider getting yourself a pair of insoles that are customised according to your bodyweight, activity levels, foot structure and foot condition.

This should help in balancing out the distribution of weight in the feet, so that any excess stress is reduced on the forefoot, giving it time to heal and recover.

Insoles will also help build strength in your foot muscles over time, which can help in stabilising the arches of your feet. This will decrease your chances of developing foot conditions.

MASS4D® Insoles can help metatarsalgia

The far-reaching benefits of MASS4D® Insoles extend beyond your feet. Not only do these insoles regulate foot movement, they also help in re-aligning your posture to correct any problems caused by bad foot posture.

This becomes necessary especially if you find yourself complaining of pain in your lower body – particularly the ankles, knees, hips and lower back.

With the feet optimally supported throughout the day, MASS4D® Insoles apply the greatest corrective support needed for a positive change in foot posture.

This can be especially beneficial when included in a comprehensive treatment programme that includes a combination of exercises, insoles and pain-relieving therapies.

MASS4D® Insoles help in redistributing pressure in the feet which helps in reducing stress in painful regions.

The biggest advantage of wearing these insoles is that you can stay on your feet while being treated for flat arches. This means, you can continue to pursue your favourite activities without having to worry about foot pain.

Shoes With Insoles

MASS4D® Insoles also help in preventing a number of other painful foot conditions that are caused as a result of foot posture problems such as flat arches.

Moreover, it’s simple to use them since you can pair your insoles with most types of footwear, including your favourite pair of shoes. 

As a sports professional, your insoles will help in preventing any foot or lower body injuries that could otherwise mean losing training time or in serious cases, early retirement.

When included in rehabilitative plans, these insoles assist in the recovery process by keeping any pressure or stress off the affected region; this helps you stay on your feet longer.

MASS4D® Insoles can make a great addition to your foot care programme because of the number of benefits offered for the feet and the whole body. Simply click on the link provided at the bottom and be well on your way to stronger, healthier feet.

Foot Pain Relief, Injury Prevention, Better Posture and Sports Performance in One Insole     know more

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