Symptoms: Symptoms of metatarsalgia include pain in the ball of the foot, pain where the metatarsal bones join the toe bones, pain along the entire length of the metatarsal bones and possibly pain in between them. The pain may vary depending on the cause of the condition. If your forefoot feels stiff or sore when you move it, joint dysfunction is probably causing your metatarsalgia. If you feel burning or stinging, nerve damage is probably responsible.
Overview: Metatarsalgia is sometimes called ball-of-foot pain, as people with this condition often feel pain around the ball of their feet. But even though people feel pain in the ball of their foot, the actual problem begins higher up, in the metatarsal bones that compose large portions of the feet.
A number of internal and external factors can cause these problems. Internal factors can be structural, functional or both, or may be due to an inflammatory arthritic condition such as gout. Structural problems refer to abnormalities in the metatarsals themselves. For example, over long metatarsals can change the mechanics of your feet, leading to abnormal movements that strain the forefoot, causing joint dysfunction. Functional problems, those not directly involving the metatarsal bones, can include conditions like flat feet which may affect how you walk, thereby placing excess strain on the metatarsals.
External factors include being overweight, wearing high-heeled shoes and repetitive foot activity. Being overweight can overload the metatarsals and affect the way you walk, resulting in joint pain and nerve irritation. High-heeled shoes place stress on the metatarsals, by putting the majority of pressure from walking onto the front of the foot. Repetitive foot activities, like running, directly stress the metatarsals by exposing them to the trauma of constant pounding.
Regardless of the cause, Dr. Suzan Starler, D.C. can effectively care for metatarsalgia. After a thorough examination to determine the underlying factors causing your condition, Dr. Suzan can offer a variety of non-invasive therapies as well as advice on how you can avoid future pain.