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By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
April 11, 2017
Category: Foot Pain

Are you experiencing pain in the ball of your foot that seems to worsen when you walk barefoot or participate in a sport or exercise activity? Have you noticed a callus forming on the bottom of your foot somewhere between the arch and the toes? If yes, you may be suffering from a condition that we see fairly often at Philip S. Pinsker, DPM, called metatarsalgia.

The metatarsal bones are the long bones that go down the middle of your foot from your ankles to your toes. Sometimes one of the nerves between the metatarsal bones becomes inflamed and that’s what causes the pain. Often a secondary issue will develop: a callus under the affected metatarsal. Further problems may occur if the pain or callus causes you to shift your weight or alter your gait to compensate for the pain.

What’s Behind This Disorder

If our board certified foot and ankle surgeon, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker, does determine that you have metatarsalgia, the next step is finding the cause. Usually this disorder occurs when either an excessive amount of pressure or uneven pressure is put on the metatarsal. This can be the result of several different conditions, including:

  • Foot injury
  • Standing for long periods of time on hard surfaces
  • Overpronation (feet roll inward when walking or running)
  • Foot deformity
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Wearing shoes that have very rigid soles (like work boots) or that don’t fit properly
  • Arthritis
  • Being overweight
  • Aging

Treatment

The treatment for metatarsalgia will, of course, depend on the cause. First the patient will need to rest the affected foot from activities that aggravate the nerve to give it time to heal. Going forward, simply changing the shoes you wear or using an orthotic insert to shift weight away from the pained area may be the solution. Losing weight may also be recommended to reduce the stress on the metatarsals. 

 

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