Metatarsalgia may be tricky to pronounce, but it is surprisingly common. Professional athletes and beginners alike can experience foot pain that causes them to spend more time on the couch than the trails. It can tempting to try and run through this pain. However, other treatments are more effective and less likely to cause further damage to the foot. Seeking help at our office in Goose Creek could get you back on your feet and ready to go.

What is Metatarsalgia?

Inside the ball and front of the foot are five long bones that are called the metatarsals. These bones lie right below the muscles that absorb tons of pressure every time your foot strikes the pavement. They run to the arches, so they can cause pain throughout the front section of the foot when irritated. Inflammation of the metatarsals is the condition commonly known as metatarsalgia. It is not a life threatening condition, but it can make it hard to work if you must stand on your feet for long shifts every day. The pain also disrupts your fitness routine and makes it hard to reach your goals.

Metatarsalgia Symptoms

Pain and irritation are the main symptoms of metatarsalgia. However, they aren’t the only signs you have to watch out for during training. Look out for symptoms like:

  • Burning sensations across the ball of the foot or behind it
  • Stabbing feelings that protrude into the middle of the arches
  • Pain and irritation behind the toes and running down to the their tips
  • Inflammation in the second, third, or fourth toes specifically
  • Pain that worsens with walking, standing, or other movement

Cause of Metatarsalgia?

This common runner’s injury often hits beginners because they aren’t sure how to proceed properly with their training plan. However, experts are just as likely to be hit with foot pain if they develop issues that include:

  • Improperly fitted shoes
  • Running and exercising in shoes with insufficient arch support
  • Pinching and pressure across the widest portion of the foot
  • Improper running technique or bad posture when standing
  • Constant training or running with insufficient rest periods
  • Awkward falls or stumbles when walking that bruise the metatarsals
  • Large calluses along the ball of the foot that put excess pressure on the arch

Metatarsalgia Risks

Athletes that stick to a tough training schedule may suffer from reoccurring outbreaks of metatarsalgia. Failing to change your routine and receive treatment for this issue could lead to further damage like:

  • Joint swelling around the toes and up into the ankle
  • Bruising and weakness of the bone itself
  • Limited range of motion
  • Stiffness and inflammation that makes it hard to walk naturally

Metatarsalgia Treatment Options

Taking a break and staying off your feet will eliminate this burning if it’s just due to a little too much walking. However, symptoms that won’t fade on their own should be treated with:

  • Safe anti-inflammatory medications to reduce swelling in the area
  • Adjust to your routine, including the addition of foot support pads if you must stand for long periods of time
  • Better running shoes and customized orthopedic inserts
  • Massage and other therapies that relax tense muscles that can further irritate the metatarsals

We Understand The Pain Of Metatarsalgia

Seeking immediate treatment is usually the best way to ensure you don’t have to break your fitness routine. Take a week off rather than a few months by managing your metatarsal irritation with conservative treatments before it becomes chronic or severe. We help patients from across the area learn better running and walking habits so they can exercise without the fear of burning sensations in the foot. Stop chronic pain if it has already developed with rest and a full range of nerve calming treatments.


© 2023 PM Health Alliance, LLC

© 2023 PM Health Alliance, LLC