Many runners oftentimes develop pain in the ball of the foot which is a condition known as metatarsalgia. It is important to note that the bones beneath the feet are called as metatarsals and the impact from running adds pressure on the ends of these bones, which results to pain in the ball of the foot.
Prolonged running can result to injuries to the ligaments and irritation of the joint in the feet. Other common foot injuries include plantar fasciitis which involves the inflammation of the tissues that runs from the heel along the foot arch as well as heel spur which are growths on the heel bone. If the individual experiences pain in the ball of the foot after activity, it is best to have it assessed by a doctor.
What are the signs and symptoms?
When an individual develops metatarsalgia, the symptoms that typically occur include dull pain in the ball of the foot along with pain that forces the individual to walk on the exterior of the foot as well as inability to walk barefoot due to severe pain and formation of callouses.
What are the causes and how to prevent it?
Overuse injuries as well as running on surfaces that do not absorb shock are some of the usual causes of pain in the ball of the foot. Nevertheless, using the wrong type of shoe is also considered as a common cause among runners. It is important to wear sneakers that provide good support, has a wide toe box and avoid using those that have high and thick heels.
Home remedies for pain in the ball of the foot
The pain due to metatarsalgia often responds to rest, application of ice, compression and elevation or the RICE method. Take note that this treatment measure can help reduce the pain and swelling while preventing further injury. If you want to learn more about this treatment option, click here.
The individual should rest and allow the affected foot to heal for a few days. You should also apply an ice pack or bag of frozen vegetables. As for compression, you can wrap the affected foot with bandage in order to provide relief from the pain as well as limit the swelling. Lastly, elevate the foot higher than the level of the heart using cushions or pillows.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can also be used as part of the home treatment for pain in the ball of the foot. In case the foot pain persists, worsens or the RICE method does not seem to work, it is best to consult a doctor. In most cases, customized orthotics might be required to relieve the weight off the ball of the feet.
Considerations to bear in mind
If the individual engages in high-impact sports, he/she faces the risk for sustaining foot injuries. Runners usually suffer constant trauma to the feet but those who are also physically active are also at risk for foot injuries.