Ball of Foot Pain – Metatarsalgia Causes and Remedies
Metatarsalgia is the most common cause of ball of foot pain. Unfortunately, this condition cannot always be avoided, even if you are exceedingly careful. Athletes, particularly runners, gymnasts and dancers are predisposed to develop metatarsal pain simply because of the nature of their work. Being overweight or obese can also make you more prone to having ball of foot pain, but these factors are simply a few examples of the most common reasons.
The real cause of metatarsalgia is friction between the bones of the feet and a specific nerve. Every time you take a step, pressure is applied to the ball of the foot just before your body weight shifts to the other foot. For most people enduring extreme pain in this area, metatarsalgia shoes provide great relief. However, this will not eliminate when you are barefoot, or when you have to wear specific shoes for work or recreational purposes.
Ball of the foot pain is also alleviated with deep stretches and physical therapy. These metatarsalgia exercises may not help the pain to completely go away, but they will help your doctor to determine the exact degree of your injury. Although metatarsal pain is more common in older patients, athletes and people that are overweight, almost anyone can develop this condition.
Regular shoe insoles made to cushion the entire foot may reduce your pain and inflammation, but only minimally. Metatarsal pads are specifically targeted for the ball of the foot, so that you can have free range of motion. Additionally, pads that help to alleviate ball of foot pain come in many more varieties.
Many athletes that retire from competitive sports and overweight patients that lose a significant amount of weight find their ball of foot pain lessens as soon as they develop new patterns. While becoming immobile is not a suitable solution, sometimes taking it easy for a period of time is just the right medicine when it comes to metatarsal pain. Surgery to correct the damage done to your nerve is also another way to get rid of metatarsal pain, but this remedy is not commonly used.