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Gigi's Video Introduction to Metatarsalgia
What is the metatarsal?
The metatarsal bones are five long bones in the foot that are identified by numeration from the big toe as first, through to the small toe as fifth. The bones are situated between the tarsal bones of the back and mid foot and the phalanges of the toes.
What is Metatarsalgia?
Commonly described as “pain in the ball of foot” metatarsalgia is also known as central metatarsalgia, or chronic metatarsal strain. Metatarsalgia is a common foot disorder that affects the metarsal bones and joints of the ball of the foot, just before the toes and most prevalent under the 2nd,3rd and 4th metatarsal heads. The metatarsal heads and metatarsophalangeal joints become painful or inflamed usually due to excessive pressure over a prolonged period of time.
What causes Metatarsalgia?
The term acts as a catch all for the many varied conditions that can cause pain in this area of the foot, such as calluses, arthritis, repeated stress, micro trauma, prolonged standing on hard surfaces, certain footwear like rigid soled work boots, fashionable shoes with high heels and pointed toes for example.
There are various treatment options to consider when trying to treat Metatarsalgia. The first key is to have properly fitted shoes with shock absorbing soles. To relieve pressure in the shoe for fixed or limited plantarflexed metatarsals an excavation in the insole of the shoe can provide relief. Orthotic devices such as metatarsal pads can be affixed to an insert or orthotic to lift and spread the shafts of the second, third and fourth metatarsals and can also be part of an integral design of the orthotic device itself. If using a metatarsal pad it's important to get the placement of the pad correct, the idea being to releive pressure from the affected area and not to add to it by trying to cushion the affected area which would add pressure. Pedors Beats orthotic has the met pad correctly placed.
Other pedorthic modifications include metatarsal bars, rocker soles, full steel shanks or carbon fiber plates and accommodative orthoses where pressure is offloaded from the affected area and evenly distributed to the rest of the foot.
Is a fairly common benign nerve enlargement usually developing between the third and fourth metatarsal and usually found in women where tight constricting shoes can pinch the nerve between the toes causing discomfort and extreme pain.