What is Metatarsalgia?

19 Aug What is Metatarsalgia?


Metatarsalgia–tricky to pronounce, but a surprisingly common form of foot pain! Inflammation of the metatarsals is the condition commonly known as Metatarsalgia. Professional athletes and beginners can all fall victim to this foot pain that can postpone running careers right when they get started. While it can be tempting to try and run through this pain rather than sit on the sidelines, seeking treatment can help you avoid further damage to your foot. Our office in Westminster and Broomfield can get you back on your feet and ready to go.

How Common is Metatarsalgia?

Foot pain is one of the most common forms of pain that humans experience, accounting for a large share of the annual doctors visits that we make. This shouldn’t be too surprising if you think about all that our feet are required to do us day in and day out. 52 bones, or ¼ of all the bones in your body are found in your feet! Couple that statistic with the estimation that by the age of 50, most Americans will have completed 75,000 miles on their feet and it is no surprise foot pain is so common! Forefoot injuries, like metatarsalgia, are very common in athletes that participate in high-impact sports. That being said, the condition isn’t isolated to that group only.  If you are overweight, or if you have been wearing ill-fitting shoes, you can also begin to have this inflammatory condition.

Why Do I Need to Be Seen for My Foot Pain?

The majority of foot issues–like metatarsalgia–come on gradually. You have dull pain that becomes more acute.  The best time to address foot pain is when it is recurring, dull pain, BEFORE it becomes acute. However, the vast majority of us put off being seen hoping that the pain will resolve on its own.  Ignoring the symptoms of metatarsalgia can lead to serious issues such as:

  • Joint swelling around the toes and up into the ankle
  • Bruising and weakness of the bone itself
  • Limited range of motion
  • Stiffness and inflammation that makes it hard to walk naturally

Avoid these serious complications that could sideline you for weeks be addressing your pain right when it starts. This might sideline you for a week, but the alternative is not a welcome one for most athletes.

Diagnosing your Metatarsalgia

Foot pain symptoms are often very similar so pinpointing exactly what is causing your pain requires careful evaluation.  Misdiagnosing, or trying to self-diagnose without professional consultation and evaluation can lead to mistreatment and further injury.  Our Mile High Spine & Pain Center doctors are equipped with the technology and expertise to determine if your foot pain is metatarsalgia or something else.  An evaluation in our Broomfield office will involve discussing your physical commitments and activities, diagnostic tests, and possibly, x-rays to rule out a stress fracture, arthritis, or other problems.

What We Can Offer You

Scheduling an appointment with our Mile High Spine & Pain Center team can help you determine if your foot pain is chronic or temporary,learn about treatment options, establish necessary activity restrictions or changes that need to be made, discover the cause of your pain and set a course for recovery. We will also discuss with you prevention strategies and decide – together – if you need to wear different shoes or incorporate insoles or arch supports to help resolve your metatarsalgia.  If having excess weight is causing your condition, we can help offer you strategies and treatment plans to help you reach your weight goals as well!

Common Treatment Options for Metatarsalgia

One of the first things you will be asked to do when you have foot pain is to rest your foot. This may seem like an easy thing to ask, but if you are athlete that is committed to rigorous training, or if your profession requires that you are on your feet frequently, this can be a tall order.  However, the burning pain you feel from this condition will be greatly relieved through resting. Adjust your routine adding foot support pads if you are required to stand for long periods of time.  Consult with a shoe/running expert that can analyze your gain and recommend the proper shoe for your foot strike. Sometimes it will be necessary to have orthopedic inserts made to give you the customized, targeted support that you require. Mile High Spine & Pain Center can also offer you massage therapies and anti-inflammatory injections to help ease the inflammation and pain that you are experiencing.

Schedule a Metatarsalgia Consultation

If you are experiencing foot pain, you are not alone. 75% of Americans will experience some type of foot problem over the course of their lifetime. Most commonly, foot problems usually develop over time because of poor footwear, stress or overuse or from structural changes in the foot.  Our team can help you determine the cause of your pain. If you are suffering from Metatarsalgia, the team at Mile High Spine & Pain Center  is ready to help offer you treatment solutions. We provide specialized treatment plans in the Broomfield community which can help you understand where your symptoms are coming from and what it will take to improve.  Call (720) 507-0080  today to schedule your consultation!


Mile High Spine & Pain Center