You may not know what metatarsalgia is, but if you are physically active or frequently wear high heels, you may have felt this type of foot pain.

Metatarsalgia, often called stone bruise, is a condition characterized by pain and inflammation in the ball of the foot, a.k.a. the metatarsal or metatarsus.

Many athletes and others who work out on a regular basis experience this condition since it often arises from intense force to the foot that occurs during jumping and running. Other potential causes of stone bruise include wearing shoes that are too tight and additional health disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Metatarsalgia causes

In your foot, nerves lie between the bones of the metatarsal. When the bones rub against each other, those nerves become impinged. The resulting pain and inflammation is metatarsalgia.

“The condition can worsen as weight is put on the foot, because with each step the metatarsal bones rub together more and more, which causes the inflammation of the nerve to increase,” explains Medical News Today. “The pain can be brought on by anything that puts too much stress on the ball of the foot.”

One thing for women to consider is that high heels fit that description. As a result, up to one in three women suffer permanent damage from wearing high heels, according to the American Osteopathic Association.

Aside from high heels and tight-fitting shoes, what else causes this type of foot pain?

·      Overweight / obesity – Any extra weight creates additional stress for your foot.

·      Aging – The pad at the ball can start to wear down during aging, meaning that there is less protection from stone bruise.

·      Running – Athletes are vulnerable when they are running or playing high-intensity sports.

·      Foot shape – Metatarsal force typically increases if the arch of your foot is high or if your second toe extends beyond your first one.

·      Stress fractures – Metatarsalgia also sometimes occurs in response to stress fractures, which are tiny breaks in the metatarsals or toe bones.

·      Health conditions – Health conditions that can lead to metatarsalgia include bunion, rheumatoid arthritis, Morton’s neuroma, and diabetes.

Metatarsalgia symptoms

Everyone’s experience of stone bruise is a little different. “Symptoms of pain can range from mild to severe, and usually become more noticeable and unpleasant when the individual stands or moves,” says Medical News Today. “Some describe it as a burning sensation, while others complain of shooting pain, tingling or numbness in their toes.”

Symptoms include:

·      Burning or aching in the ball of the foot or near your toes

·      Tingling or radiating pain in the toes

·      Intensification of pain when barefoot or on hard surfaces

·      Intensification of pain when walking or standing.

Metatarsalgia treatment

It’s critical to get treatment for your stone bruise. If it isn’t treated, the pain can spread to the rest of the foot, the other foot, and even sometimes other regions of the body (because of changes to your gait that result from the pain).

Whether your metatarsalgia arose from athletic competition or wearing high heels at work, Advanced Wellness and Rehab can help you recover. We are passionate about helping patients restore function for their daily activities so they can reclaim an active lifestyle. >>> Chronic pain relief