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How do I treat Metatarsalgia?

How do I treat Metatarsalgia?
May 31st, 2021 / foot pain relief

How do I treat Metatarsalgia?

Forefoot pain is a common problem for runners. While pain in this region is commonly called metatarsalgia (literally meaning pain in the metatarsals), metatarsalgia is more of a symptom than a specific diagnosis. Many conditions or pathologies can cause forefoot pain:

  • Metatarsophalangeal joint (MTPJ) pain
  • Intermetatarsal nerve pain, or neuroma, or Morton’s neuroma
  • Bursitis, synovitis, capsulitis, sesamoiditis
  • Muscle, tendon or ligament injury, including plantar plate tears
  • Stress fracture
  • Fat pad atrophy

Factors Contributing to Metatarsalgia

Many factors can contribute to forefoot pain. Overuse, sudden increases in activity load, biomechanical / anatomical variations or changes. For example a change in footwear or inappropriate footwear, foot type, and traumatic external factors could all be potential causative agents. As podiatrists, we specialise in assessing and identifying all of these issues to create the right management plan.

Early Detection and Intervention

Early detection and intervention are crucial for any kind of forefoot pain. The most common causes of pain in this region are inflammatory, and respond best to appropriate offloading, load modification and pain management. Imaging (x-ray and ultrasound) are often used as a guide for specific forefoot pain management.

Furthermore, we can use our state-of-the-art Zebris treadmill to assess you while walking (and running if possible) to determine any imbalances, asymmetries, or running technique deficiencies that could be improved. A simple gait analysis can provide us with a lot of beneficial information.

Metatarsalgia Treatment Plan

Our specialists are experts in assessing and managing forefoot pain, and the earlier we see you the better. Many interventions are simple yet effective, such as offloading, metatarsal pads or domes, orthotics, footwear changes, mobilisation / manipulation of joints, and stretching / strengthening programs. But, these are only effective once we have identified the specific pathology and created the appropriate treatment plan.

If you’re experiencing any type of foot pain during training for Transcend Trails, contact us for an assessment  here. We’ll be able to identify the issue and guide your recovery to keep you running at 100%.

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