Sudden, extreme pain in the ball of the foot or the base of the toe, particularly when doing walking, running or jumping activities or walking barefoot is a telltale sign of a foot disorder known as metatarsalgia. Tingling, numbness or a burning sensation are other symptoms we at Lansdowne Podiatry hear from our patients with metatarsalgia, as well as the sensation of walking with a pebble in your shoe. Metatarsalgia occurs when one of the nerves between the metatarsal bones–the five long bones that run from your toes to your ankle—becomes inflamed.
Arriving at a Diagnosis
Pain and discomfort in the ball of the foot is a symptom of several other disorders, including sesamoiditis and Morton’s Neuroma. Our board qualified podiatrist, Dr. Monique Renee Rolle, may order an x-ray to rule out a fracture as well. The foot doctor will examine your foot and will also get clues by asking you about your lifestyle and activities. Participating in high-impact exercise like running, basketball and court sports, certain injuries and foot deformities, being overweight and aging are all contributing factors to the condition of metatarsalgia.
Relieving Pain and Discomfort
Fortunately, metatarsalgia is usually successfully treated with non-invasive methods. These include:
- Resting the foot to give it time to heal and taking a break from those activities that aggravate the ball of the foot
- Ice and anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed to reduce pain and swelling
- Choosing shoes that fit properly and provide appropriate support to arches and ankles
- Orthotic devices that correct arch or foot position to relieve pain
- Losing weight
Metatarsalgia, like many foot and ankle conditions, will only worsen without treatment. If you are feeling pain and discomfort in the ball of your foot, make an appointment at your soonest convenience at our Leesburg office and start getting relief today.