Does the ball of your foot feel like it’s on fire? Does it feel like there’s a big, painful lump under your toes? Does it hurt most after you’ve been on your feet a lot? If so, you may be suffering from Metatarsalgia.
What is Metatarsalgia?
Each time you step down on the ball of the foot the metatarsal arch begins to flatten. This allows the metatarsal arch to act as a shock absorber. As we step forward all of our body weight is forced onto the toes and balls of the foot. If they are not aligned or supported properly, or if we have insufficient fatty padding, we experience pain. (Click here to learn more about the Metatarsal Arch.)
Sometimes we create a metatarsal pain unkowingly by wearing:
Other times Metatarsalgia is the result of bad genes or injuries, such as Dropped Metatarsals or a thinning or destruction of the fatty pad in the ball of the foot.
Dropped metatarsal – Each foot has five metatarsals that connect to the toes. If one or more of the metatarsal heads sits lower than the others, it will bear more of our body weight than it should. Causes of a dropped metatarsal include:
Thinning or destruction of the fatty pad in the ball of the foot – The fatty pad acts as protection for the interior structures of the foot.
Fortunately there are ways to relieve the pain caused by Metatarsalgia and it’s co-conspirators hammertoes and plantar fasciitis. Many of them can be found here at Happy Feet Plus. Look for footwear with good arch support, especially good metatarsal arch support, like the entire family of Birkenstock footwear as well as Finn Comfort. You can also purchase the Birko-Sport 2-part insole for use in your exisiting shoes (not your high heels though – there is no help for them.)