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Podiatrist - Washington
853 Jefferson Ave
Washington, PA 15301
(724) 225-7410
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By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
December 03, 2015
Tags: metatarsalgia  

The balls of our feet withstand a great amount of pressure. When we walk or run, this is the part of the foot that we use to push off. It bears the body’s weight. If you participate in sports or leisure activities such as basketball or dance that involve jumping and repeated pounding of the ball of your foot you are putting even more stress on this area. As we age, the fat pad on the bottom of out foot thins out a bit and the repeated pressure on the balls of the feet can lead to a painful condition called metatarsalgia.

There is often not one single cause of this condition. The metatarsal heads just before the second, third, and fourth toes, become inflamed and aggravated by overuse, wearing shoes that fit poorly, as well as from foot deformities and mechanical problems such as hammertoes, bunions, or an overly high arch. Illnesses that involve inflammation, like arthritis and gout can lead to metatarsalgia. Being overweight can also be a contributing factor.

How to Recognize Metatarsalgia

At Philip S. Pinsker, patients who have metatarsalgia frequently come to our Washington office complaining of pain on the bottom of their feet that gets worse the longer they are on their feet. Often times the pain is more severe when you are barefoot and has been described as the feeling of walking on pebbles. You may experience burning or numbness and tingling in the balls of your feet and sharp, shooting pain in your toes when you flex your foot. Our board certified podiatrist, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker will be able to diagnose metatarsalgia by examining your foot and taking a history of your symptoms and learning about the activity level of your lifestyle. He may order digital x-rays to rule out other conditions or injuries.

Getting Rid of the Pain

Fortunately, the treatment options for metatarsaligia are conservative and non-invasive. Depending on your individual diagnosis, the foot doctor may recommend one or more of the following:

  • Rest and elevation of the foot until the inflammation subsides
  • Anti-inflammatory medications to help relieve pain and inflammation
  • Custom orthotics to support and cushion the ball of your foot and to alter foot positions that are putting unneeded pressure on those areas
  • Physical therapy
  • Exercises to encourage weight loss which will ultimately reduce the strain on the foot

Don’t ignore or just put up with foot pain. If you are experiencing the symptoms of metatarsalgia, contact our conveniently located Southwestern, PA office by calling (724) 225- 7410 to make an appointment.

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