Metatarsalgia: Common Causes and Quick Remedies

Have you ever experienced foot pain? Not just a mild ache in your feet that you can't quite place, but rather an intense, profound pain in the balls of your feet that may interfere with the quality of your daily life? Those who lead active lifestyles are especially susceptible to this deviously simple malady that can leave even the most fit and active among us in too much pain to walk properly. In short, metatarsalgia is no joke.

Thankfully, foot pain is rarely the sort of problem that is beyond the realm of modern medicine or even self-help. With a little know how and a fundamental understanding of how our ankles and feet support the rest of our body you can avoid wearing yourself down to the cruel pain that comes with over-exertion and improper footwear. If you already suspect you suffer from this specific sort of foot pain, relief might be just around the corner.

Your Foot Pain and You
Pain in your feet can come from any number of sources, but metatarsal pain has specific symptoms that are straightforward to recognize in those suffering from it:

  • Pain in the ball of your foot
  • Burning or aching sensations
  • Numbness of the toes or feet

Other non-specific symptoms may include feeling as if an object has become lodged under your skin, despite nothing actually being there. These pains are often worse when weight is put on the feet and may amplify when walking, running, jumping or undergoing other types of physical activity.

Those most susceptible to foot pain are often those who work in high-impact fields that require constant movement or regular physical exertion. Any career that requires being on one's feet for many hours of the day, be it a construction worker or a health care professional, might find themselves suffering from chronic pain of this nature but may write it off as an unavoidable fact of life.

Avoiding Easily Preventable Causes of Foot Pain
If your profession requires constantly being on your feet, the most obvious solution is to ensure your footwear is up to par for your needs. Prioritize finding top quality metatarsal work boots or shoes that properly support the arches and balls of your feet without impeding movement, especially if your current footwear is significantly advanced in age. If you find a change in boots isn't solving your issues, shock-absorbing inserts or insoles for your current footwear can take a significant amount of wear and tear off of your body. Our ankles and feet are the first line of defense our body has against repeated stress injuries caused by shock absorption through any sort of physically strenuous movement or even the simple act of walking. If your feet can't absorb shock properly, that stress is transferred to the knees and hips, which can lead to even worse health conditions if not properly prepared for. Taking proper care of your feet can further prevent pain and stress that is otherwise easily preventable, yet many of us are lax when it comes to taking care of the part of us that spends the most time in contact with the ground. Your feet are important and how you treat them can be just as important as what you cover them with in the morning.

Finding Relief for Your Foot Pain
While serious cases of foot pain can require orthopedic support and rehabilitation, the basic tenets of metatarsal relief are fairly simple, with most remedies consisting of icing the pained areas and reducing impact stress to that area for a time. Serious cases might require ultrasound therapy, but always consult with a licensed physician before undergoing any medical treatments. For more serious cases, elevating your feet after strenuous activity might promote proper blood flow to relieve the tingling or numbness that comes with foot pain. If you find the pain to be especially egregious, consider taking a break from whatever activity has been causing the pain if at all possible. If that pain is a part of your daily job, see a physician as soon as possible to ensure no permanent damage is being done and to find a proper way to avoid stress damage in the future. In a worst-case scenario surgery may be required to treat serious damage. It's never too early to take precautions and try at-home remedies before resorting to serious measures, though, so don't assume you need to have your feet operated on just because they're sore after a few hours standing about.

Metatarsalgia is an unfortunate symptom of a range of possible aches and pains brought about by improper footwear, lifestyle choices or even our body weight. By taking the proper steps to ensure the repeated shock and strain of our daily exercise and activities is safeguarded against, one might just come out of life without suffering through debilitating foot pain in the first place.

About the Author: Amanda Wilks is a passionate writer with a focus on health and self-improvement. She hopes to inspire others through her writings, encouraging them to choose a healthier lifestyle. Find out more about Amanda on Twitter