Ball Of Foot Pain (METATARSALGIA)…..WHY DO I HAVE IT?Jun 29, 2021
Metatarsalgia is a very common complaint seen in South Dublin Podiatry. It basically means pain in the metatarsal area of the foot.
A bit like saying you have a headache if your head is sore. An ok way to describe it but not the most accurate diagnosis.
Metatarsalgia encompases conditions in the area such Mortons Neuroma, inflammation of the Metatarso phalangeal joints, a Stress Facture, Freiburgs Disease etc.
So What Are The Metatarsals Anyway?
The metatarsal are the 5 long bones going from your mid foot to your toes with the 1st metatarsal going to the big toe being the largest and designed to take most of the force when you go up onto your toes. Here is an image of the Metatarsals.
How do the metatarsals get injured?
With such a wide number of possible structures in the area that the metatarsals pass through the causes of injury are widespread. However usually it is a case of too much force of some type being applied for too long. An example might be too running on hard surfaces resulting in Stress Fracture of one of the metatarsals.
So Metatarsalgia doesn’t just mean pain in the Metatarsals?
Exactly. Other structures like nerve pinching in Mortons Neuroma or joint capsule damage can also be termed Metatarsalgia. As long as its in the area of the metatarsals it may be classed as Metatarsalgia. Most commonly when someone says they have Metatarsalgia they mean pain in the Ball of the Foot or into the toes.
So how do I know if I have Metatarsalgia?
Well you can’t be sure unless you get an expert opinion. However common traits of Metatarsalgia are pain under the toes or in the ball of the foot when walking, running etc or shooting pain into the smaller toes sometimes with some swelling and pain to touch. Often there is nothing to see on the skin as the damage is within the foot itself.
How do find out for sure if I do have Metatarsalgia?
You should get expert Podiatry opinion. At South Dublin Podiatry our Podiatry team is used to seeing Metatarsalgia daily and determining what exactly the structure is that injured, the cause of the injury and developing a plan to resolve the pain. When needed we may organise scans etc.