What is Metatarsalgia?

podiatrist near East Meadow

What is Metatarsalgia?

Bellmore Podiatrist

Metatarsalgia is a type of pain and inflammation in the ball, or metatarsal, of the foot. Also called the “stone bruise,” it often is seen in the metatarsal heads which is where the bones of the middle three toes connect to the ball.  There are small nerves between the metatarsal bones.  These small nerves become inflamed when the head of one metatarsal bone is pressed against the other.  The inflammation and pain that comes from this results in metatarsalgia. If you live in Nassau County, Cherrywood Footcare located in Bellmore, NY can help you reduce symptoms of Metatarsalgia.  

Many activities that we do with our feet can cause metatarsalgia.  It does not matter whether a person is active or overweight, it can occur in anyone.  Active people are at risk do to running, jumping, lifting weights, or really any kind of high impact action that involves their feet.  Being overweight, it can happen by merely walking or standing, due to putting a lot of weight on the ball of the foot.  That being said, age and footwear are also factors that can result in metatarsalgia.  As the body ages, the fat on our feet thins out, which leads to less protection on our bones from movement and strain.  High heels and ill fitting shoes cause the inflammation by causing strain and a large amount of discomfort.  

Fortunately, metatarsalgia is a treatable condition that does not involve any risky drugs or surgeries.  Staying off the foot, in general, is a good starting practice.  Keeping it elevated and relaxed is a good idea as well.  Icing it several times a day for about 15-20 minutes will help the inflammation to go down.  If you are still experiencing pain, over the counter ibuprofen will help alleviate that.  Once the inflammation has subsided, it is good to exercise your ankle, to build strength as well as stretching your achilles tendon.  For some people, a simple change of footwear is required.  In more involved cases, custom orthotics may be the treatment.  At Cherrywood Foot Care, they treat this condition, as well as many more, serving many people throughout Nassau County.