Metatarsalgia(Forefoot Pain) is a common overuse running injury. It is a condition in which the ball of the foot becomes painful and inflamed especially the area between your arch and the toes, The pain usually centers on one or more of the five bones (metatarsals) in this area under the toes. The pain comes on over a period of several months rather than suddenly. Although generally not serious, metatarsalgia can sideline you for a period of time.

The metatarsal bones are designed to 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.

It often occurs as a result of symptoms of other conditions. Athletes who take part in high impact sports like running are at a high risk of forefoot injury. Track and field runners are exposed to the highest level of traumatic forces to the forefoot,

Symptons of Metatarsalgia
The primary symptom of metatarsalgia is a sharp, aching or burning pain at the end of one or more of the metatarsal bones(These bones are located at the part of the sole just behind your toes). or a shooting pain, numbness or tingling in your toes. The pain is typically aggravated when running. The pain worsens when you stand, run, flex your feet or walk especially barefoot on a hard surface and improves when you rest.

Causes of Metatarsalgia
An enlarged metatarsal head.
Arthritis or any degenerative disease of the joints.
Systemic conditions such as diabetes, which can cause nerve type pain in the foot.
Calluses or skin lesions that cause the weight on the foot to be unevenly distributed.
Ageing which tends to thin out or shift the fatty tissue of the foot pad.
Tight fitting running shoes that put pressure on the bones of the feet.
Shoes with small toe boxes that cramp your toes.
A burning pain in the ball of your foot that doesn’t improve after changing your shoes and modifying your activities.
Discomfort when wearing shoes and socks.
Foot deformities and shoes that are too tight or too loose.

Fortunately at home treatments, such as ice and rest, often relieve symptoms.
Wearing proper footwear with shock absorbing insoles or arch supports can prevent or minimize future problems with metatarsalgia.
If any of the above symptons are severe seek medical advice.

Sometimes pain is caused by a callus that forms on the bottom of your foot. A callus is a buildup of skin that forms in response to excessive pressure over the bone. Normally a callus is not painful but the buildup of skin can increase pressure and eventually make walking difficult.
Shoes that don’t fit properly can cause foot pain. Tight fitting running shoes squeeze the foot and increase pressure while loose shoes let the foot slide and rub
which causes friction.

Sometimes, simply buying shoes that fit properly can solve the problem. Shoes should have a wide toe box that doesn’t cramp your toes.

•Soaking your feet to soften calluses and then removing some of the dead skin with a pumice stone or callus file will also ease pressure.

Causes of Metatarsalgia
The causes of metatarsalgia pain can be attributed to a number of factors, from bone abnormalities to systemic diseases such as diabetes.

The most common cause is an alteration of the posture in the long bones (metatarsals) of the foot. These bones absorb the weight during running or walking. Iff one of the bones falls down through weakness or lack of support, is abnormally long or fractured from stress it will create dysfunction among all the bones.

Footwear
Taking a good look at the shoes you wear is the first step in eliminating and preventing the painful condition of Metatarsalgia.
Find appropriate running footwear that distributes the weight and pressure evenly across the foot, rather than concentrates it in the toes and ball of
the foot.

Massage
Massage the afflicted area to relieve swelling pressure, increase local circulation and reduce your pain.

Anti inflammatory Medications
Over-the-counter medications such as Ibuprofen, Voltaren etc may help to reduce the symptoms but do not correct the main “postural” reasons for irritation so
a recurrence is likely. Please consult your doctor prior to taking these drugs.

Metatarsalgia & Forefoot Pain

Metatarsalgia(Forefoot Pain) is a common overuse running injury. It is a condition in which the ball of the foot becomes painful and inflamed especially the area between your arch and the toes. The pain usually centers on one or more of the five bones (metatarsals) in this area under the toes.
The pain comes on over a period of several months rather than suddenly as the delicate balance between bones is disrupted.
It often occurs as a result of symptoms of other conditions. Although generally not serious, metatarsalgia can sideline you for a period of time.
Track and field runners are exposed to the highest level of traumatic forces to the forefoot,
Causes of Metatarsalgia
? An enlarged metatarsal head. ? Arthritis or any degenerative disease of the joints. ? Systemic conditions such as diabetes, which can cause nerve type pain in the foot. ? Calluses or skin lesions that cause the weight on the foot to be unevenly distributed. ? Ageing which tends to thin out or shift the fatty tissue of the foot pad. ? Tight fitting running shoes that put pressure on the bones of the feet. ? Shoes with small toe boxes that cramp your toes. ? A burning pain in the ball of your foot that doesn’t improve after changing your shoes and modifying your activities. ? Discomfort when wearing shoes and socks. ? Foot deformities and shoes that are too tight or too loose. ? Bone abnormalities to systemic diseases such as diabetes. Alteration of the posture in the long bones (metatarsals) of the foot which absorb weight during running. Weakness, lack of support and abnormally long or stress fractured bones will create dysfunction among all the bones.
Symptons of Metatarsalgia
? Sharp, aching or burning pain at the end of one or more of the metatarsal bones ? A shooting pain, numbness or tingling in your toes. The pain worsens when you stand, run, flex your feet or walk especially barefoot on a hard surface and improves when you rest. ? Callus (Build up of Skin) that forms on the bottom of your foot as a result of excessive pressure over the bone. If any of the above symptons are severe seek medical advice.
Treatments for Metatarsalgia
? Wearing proper footwear with shock absorbing insoles or arch supports can prevent or minimize future problems with metatarsalgia. ? Soaking your feet to soften calluses and then removing some of the dead skin with a pumice stone or callus file will also ease pressure. ? Using appropriate properly fitting running shoes with a wide toe box that distributes weight and pressure evenly across the foot. ? Massaging the afflicted area to relieve swelling pressure, increase local circulation and reduce your pain.