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Ask the Experts
Forefoot pain, also referred to as metatarsalgia, is a type of pain that occurs in the ball of the foot (around the tip of the metatarsal bones). Generally, forefoot pain is associated with aging.
Individuals with metatarsalgia experience pain of varied intensity and discomfort and find difficulty in activities like walking, running, playing, and several others.
The forefoot is the anterior portion of the foot formed by five metatarsals, fourteen phalange bones, and soft tissues
Symptoms of Forefoot
Patients with metatarsalgia usually experience a sharp, aching or burning pain in the ball of their feet. The pain usually worsens during standing, walking, running or when the affected foot is flexed. Some may have numbness or tingling sensation in their toes. In most cases, the skin overlying the affected area becomes thick and hard, rough-textured, along with either complete/partial loss of sensation. This is often referred to as hyperkeratosis or callosity. Some people may notice changes in the shape of the feet or toes depending upon the cause of pain.
Causes & Effects
Knee pain can be divided into three major categories:
- Overweight: Excess body weight tends to put more pressure on the metatarsal bones and cause pain.
- Overuse: Pain from overuse is seen in sports people (athletes and runners). This condition exhibits from inflammation to fracture of metatarsal bones.
- Shape of the foot: People with hammer toes (toe is bent at the middle joint) and bunion (a painful bump at the base of big toe) are also more prone to metatarsalgia.
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Forefoot Treatments of Dr. Raviprakash
Some of the advantages of forefoot problem include
- Address Foot & Toe Pain, Ailments & Deformities- the underlying cause of most chronic foot problems usually has a common origin (i.e., footwear that prevents the foot from functionally naturally), there is often a universal approach to alleviating these problems too. In our experience, we've found that restoring normal and natural toe splay is the key to addressing toe problems such as bunions, tailor's bunions, hammertoes, other types of crooked toes, hallux limitus, and ingrown toenails, but it's also helpful for ball of foot conditions such as sesamoiditis, neuromas, and capsulitis.
- Enable Natural Arch Support- The concept of natural arch support is one of the true fundamentals of natural foot health. This is the idea that your main foot arch (i.e., your medial longitudinal arch), as well as your other foot arches, can support itself if your foot is allowed to function the way nature intended; that is, without any outside intervention—such as conventional arch orthotics or motion control footwear—that acts to prop up your arch or rigidly control your foot.
- Improve Blood Flow To Your Plantar Fascia- One of the most little-known facts in the world of feet and foot care is that the condition commonly called plantar fasciitis—usually experienced as heel pain in the sole of the foot—should actually be called plantar fasciosis. The “osis” refers to cell death, whereas the “itis” refers to inflammation. Histopathologists have looked at this condition at the microscopic level and have found no inflammation in people who have been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis. What they find instead is dead tissue.
- Restore Proper Sesamoid Bone Orientation- Two small, corn kernel-sized bones, called sesamoids, situated under the base of your big toe, play an important role in big toe function, particularly in improving the ability of your big toe flexor tendons to transfer force from your lower leg muscles to the base of your big toe. Essentially, they function like a kneecap—the largest sesamoid bone in your body, and a structure responsible for improving leverage, strength, mobility, and flexibility at your knee—for your big toe joint.
Hallux valgus, the most common foot deformity, is characterized by medial deviation of the first MT and lateral deviation of the hallux.
Acute injuries causing forefoot pain Acute injuries are sudden onset, traumatic injuries and include fractures, sprains and strains.
The forefoot consists of your toe bones, called phalanges, and metatarsal bones, the long bones in your feet. Phalanges connect to metatarsals at the ball of the foot by joints called phalange metatarsal joints.
Less commonly found than the longitudinal arch collapse is the collapse of the metatarsal arch (MTA). This usually comes with pain at the second, third, and fourth balls of the foot. In an attempt to relieve the pain, the toes are enlisted to bear some of the forefoot weight.
Rest. Stop any physical activity that causes pain, and keep your foot still when possible.
Ice your foot for 20 minutes 2 to 3 times a day. Do not apply ice directly to your skin.
Keep your foot raised to help keep swelling down.
Take pain medicine if you need it.