Metatarsalgia is the general name for pain in the forefoot, often in the ball of the foot. This pain is usually a symptom of another problem, rather than the main cause of the pain.
Often a shooting pain similar to having a stone in the shoe, in most cases metatarsalgia can be successfully treated at home, although depending on the underlying cause surgery may be required.
- Shooting Pain
- Burning Pain
- Feeling of having a stone in the shoe
- A callosity – build-up of hard skin
Metatarsalgia is usually caused by an increased pressure on the ball of the foot, although there are many potential causes for this.
Lifestyle may have a big effect on the mechanics of the foot, with obesity, partaking in high-impact sports, and badly fitting footwear all putting extra pressure on the affected area.
Joint and foot conditions such as bunions (Hallux Valgus), big toe arthritis (Hallux Rigidus), gout, Morton’s neuroma, capsulitis, synovitis, toe deformities and stress factors can also cause metatarsalgia.
In most cases, self-treatment can improve metatarsalgia and prevent it from returning.
Taking over the counter painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, and regularly applying ice packs can help reduce swelling and relieve pain.
To prevent metatarsalgia returning, simple fixes such as resting the affected foot in an elevated position, changing to more sensible footwear with wide toes and low heels, and maintaining a healthy weight can all have a positive impact. Shock absorbing pads or insoles can also help cushion the foot, making activities more comfortable.
If these measures do not help, or if the pain becomes severe or the shape of the foot changes, additional treatments such as steroid injections, physiotherapy or custom made orthotics may also be effective.
In some cases, surgery may be required to cure the underlying problem. This can include the removal of a bunion, straightening of deformed toes, or surgery to remove Morton’s neuroma or an abnormal nerve. Pioneering Cartiva implants can be used to help treat Hallux Rigidus.
Find out more about how we can help treat Metatarsalgia
To find out more about how we can help treat Metatarsalgia or for more information about Total Foot Surgery, contact us on 07449419401 or use our online contact form.