People suffering from metatarsalgia – which derives its name from the term "metatarsals," or long bones of the foot – feel intense pain in the ball of the foot.
The metatarsal bones equally share the weight of a person during walking and daily activities. When this delicate balance between bones is disrupted, the result can be mild to intense foot pain. The term metatarsalgia refers to the number of problems people can experience in this area.
The causes of metatarsalgia pain can be attributed to a number of factors, from bone abnormalities to systemic conditions such as diabetes.
The most common cause is an imbalance in the long bones of the foot. These bones absorb the weight during walking, and if one of the bones is abnormally long or fractured from stress, it will create dysfunction among all bones.
Other causes include:
As explained above, the universal symptom of metatarsalgia is pain in the ball of the foot, and is most pronounced when walking or engaging in sports. Since the foot supports the body in all its activities, chronic pain in the ball of the foot impacts the ability to perform ordinary tasks.
Additional symptoms include:
Treatment of metatarsalgia depends on the cause, but here are a few suggestions to help alleviate the discomfort associated with this condition:
If more support and cushioning doesn't help alleviate pain, see a podiatrist for further treatment.
Information on foot, leg and lower body health conditions provided by The Podiatry Institute, dedicated to advancing the standard of care in podiatric medicine and its effects on muscoskeletal health.
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