Metatarsalgia – Pain In Ball Of The Foot When Walking
There are many foot problems that you can get, but a pain in the ball of the foot is one of the worst ones. But, the sad news is that many people will experience it as some points in their lives as it is a common condition. And the likelihood of developing such pain will increase as you age.
Pain in the ball of the foot is the condition that scientists will refer to as metatarsalgia and besides from being annoying and uncomfortable, it will also affect your ability to move around. And so it will also affect your performance and productivity at work, and hence it can hurt your overall lifestyle.
While some medical conditions can result in pain in the ball of the foot when walking, in most instances it is a result of issues that you can rectify such as wearing improper footwear. And before you decide to go for surgery to correct the problem it is important to note that there are some simple home treatments that you can use to deal with it.
Causes Of Metatarsalgia - Pain In Ball Of Foot When Walking
The intensity of the pain in the ball of the foot when walking tends to vary from one person to the other. Also, the causes will differ from one individual to the other. While for some people it a result of wearing improper fitting footwear for many others it is comes from a combination of factors. But below are some of the everyday things that can lead to metatarsalgia.
Improper Fitting Shoes
Most of the typical foot problems from heel pain and plantar fasciitis to heel spurs are in many instances a result of wearing improper fitting shoes. The same is also true for pain in the ball of foot or metatarsalgia. Wearing high heels often will transfer extra weight to the front section of the foot and cause some discomfort. Shoes that are narrow at the toe box and those without adequate support and cushioning can also contribute to the foot problem.
Obesity comes with many challenges, but one of the most obvious ones is that it will affect your feet. The extra kilos mean that your feet will need to carry more weight and so they will be under more pressure. This additional pressure will also be on your metatarsals and hence resulting in pain in the ball of the foot.
High Impact Exercises/Running
Exercises are essential for your overall health. But doing too much of high impact activities such as running will put you at more risk of metatarsalgia. And this is because the front of the foot will have to absorb some significant amount of force.
Stress fractures are common for people that walk a lot, stand for many hours or exercise a lot. And when you suffer from one which is a small break in the toe bones you can develop pain in the ball of the foot or make things worse if you already have some mild form of metatarsalgia.
Particular Foot Shapes
Individuals with particular foot types are more prone to developing pain in the ball of the foot when walking. The structure and shape of your feet bones not only affects your walking style but also the amount of pressure you apply on your feet. For example, individuals with a metatarsal bone that is overly long, flat feet, high arches and hammer toe are more prone to developing pain in the ball of the foot.
Arthritis And Diabetes
Arthritis is another common cause of metatarsalgia and many other foot problems. And this is because it affects the joints and hence leading to pain in various parts of the foot. People with diabetes are also prone to this because the condition affects the nerves and this, in turn, causes foot pain.
How To Treat Pain In Ball Of Foot When Walking
Knowing the possible causes of pain in the ball of the foot when walking is always the first step, but the other more important one is to understand how to deal with the problem. Luckily, there is a variety of treatments available, and in most cases, you will not need surgery or any medical intervention. And the remedies include the following five.
Change Your Footwear
Like with most other foot problems changing your footwear can make a huge difference if you are struggling with pain in the ball of the foot. And this should always be the first thing that you do to deal with metatarsalgia. Swap your regular footwear for comfortable and supportive pairs that should not only fit well but also provide adequate support for the entire foot.
Rest Your Feet
Subjecting your feet to excess pressure by standing, running or even walking for long can make them more painful. Resting them after long periods of activity will ensure that they are not under a lot of pressure for extended periods and this will not only help to heal the ball of the foot but also prevent the problem from recurring.
Use Orthotic Inserts And Metatarsal Pads
Orthotic inserts provide an easy way to improve the comfort and support of your footwear, and they will ensure that you do not have to throw out your favorite pair of shoes. Custom orthotics are an even smarter option than the regular ones as they conform to the shape and size of your feet. Metatarsal pads, on the other hand, will give your feet extra support and cushion while also helping to redistribute weight to minimize pressure on the ball of the foot.
Exercise will not be the first thing that comes to mind when looking for a solution for metatarsalgia as high impact activity is one of the causes of the problem. However, targeted stretches will not only help to ease the pain but can also increase strength and flexibility which will help to prevent recurrence of the problem in future.
Shed Some Kilos
Most foot problems are a result of obesity dor being overweight because the feet have to carry more weight than they can handle. Shedding some kilos helps to relieve the strain on your feet so that they can heal quickly.
Helpful Tips For Preventing Pain In Ball Of Foot
- Analyze your footwear and stop wearing the old, worn-out and ill-fitting pairs as they can cause problems to the ball of your feet in the long run.
- Avoid high heels and if you must wear them do not do it for many hours continuously and also try to alternate them with flats.
- Switch to low-impact exercises if you suspect that the high impact ones are causing the problem.
- Invest in a good pair of insoles, metatarsal pads or orthotic inserts.
- Maintain a healthy weight to ensure that your feet will never be under any unnecessary pressure.
Any pain, swelling or inflammation on the balls of your feet will make life uncomfortable and in some cases will even prevent you from doing the things that you like. But, making a few changes to your workout routine and your choice of footwear can help you get back on your feet. However, if all the remedies above do not seem to be working for you, the best idea is to talk to a professional. It is important to note that sometimes metatarsalgia can be a severe problem that requires medical attention and even surgery.