Posts for: April, 2017
Metatarsalgia denotes a common foot condition characterized by pain and inflammation of the joints and bones of the ball of the foot - the area just before the toes, also called the metatarsal region.
Symptoms of metatarsalgia can develop suddenly, especially after an increase in exercise or high-impact activities, but normally the problems develop over time. Common symptoms of metatarsalgia include:
- Sharp, aching or burning pain in the ball of your foot - the part of the sole just behind the toes
- Pain that intensifies when you stand, walk or run
- Pain that radiates from the balls of the feet into the toes
- Numbness or tingling in the toes
- A feeling in your feet as if you are walking with a pebble in your shoe
- Pain that increases when walking barefoot
Sometimes a single factor can trigger metatarsalgia. More often, multiple factors contribute to the pain, including:
- Over-training or Over-activity. Extensive training and high-impact sports, especially running, places an abnormal amount of stress on the balls of the feet, causing irritation, inflammation and pain.
- Other foot disorders. High arches, hammertoes, bunions, stress fractures and Morton's neuroma can all trigger metatarsalgia symptoms.
- Poor-fitting footwear. High heels, narrow-toed shoes and shoes without adequate padding can all contribute to metatarsal problems.
- Excess weight. Extra weight places excess pressure on your metatarsals.
- Aging. The fat pads on the metatarsals thin out as a person ages, diminishing the ability of the metatarsal bones to protect themselves.
Although generally not serious, metatarsalgia can disrupt your day to day activities, and when left untreated can lead to additional pain in your unaffected foot, back or hips. Treatment to eliminate metatarsalgia symptoms can be as simple as resting, icing the affected area and wearing proper-fitting shoes to significantly reduce swelling and ease pain.
When conservative treatments aren't effective and pain persists, visit our practice for a full exam and a proper diagnosis. In most cases, metatarsalgia can be treated non-surgically. An experienced podiatrist may prescribe specially-designed orthotics or shock-absorbing insoles and arch supports to prevent and minimize future problems with metatarsalgia.
With every step you take, your feet and heels are taking on the full weight of your body. It's not surprising that there would be some wear and tear after a while -- especially if you regularly participate in strenuous activities like sports. If you've been having problems with persistent heel pain, this isn't an issue that you should continue to ignore -- consult a podiatrist at The Foot & Ankle Clinic in Spokane Valley, WA, and Hayden and Kellogg, ID, for help.
Possible Causes of Heel Pain
Your heel allows you to stretch your foot when in movement and provides support to the ankle, arch and calf. When this part of your foot is damaged, inflamed or irritated in some way, the feeling of discomfort is almost impossible to ignore. Look at these common causes of heel pain:
- Plantar fasciitis (often related to heel spurs)
- Achilles tendinitis and tendon ruptures
- Heel bone fractures
- Rheumatoid arthritis (inflammation of the joints and tissues)
- Bursitis (inflammation of the sacs around bones and tendons)
- Rawness and irritation on the back of the heel from wearing boots and uncomfortable heels
Why You Shouldn't Ignore Heel Problems
Heel pain should be addressed and treated as soon as possible because the longer the condition worsens, the more difficult it is to heal the muscles, tendons and ligaments that may be damaged. In extreme cases, invasive surgery may be needed.
Healing Your Heel Pain
A non-invasive solution to heel pain is the one that is normally preferred by your podiatrist. These are some of the most common methods of treatment that your podiatrist at The Foot & Ankle Clinic in Spokane Valley, Hayden and Kellogg may employ:
- Exercises to stretch the muscles and physical therapy
- Ice therapy to ease inflammation
- Custom orthotics (such as arched inserts)
- Padding and strapping the feet
- Corticosteroid injections for inflammation
- Wearing a splint at night
Consult with a Foot Doctor
Don't ignore heel pain—as you get older you'll begin to realize just how important mobility and foot comfort is to your quality of life. Call Dr. Jacqueline Babol today to schedule an exam at one of her offices—she has convenient locations in Spokane Valley, WA, and Hayden and Kellogg, ID.