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Metatarsalgia: what it is and how it originates

What is it?

Metatarsalgia is the pain in the soles of the feet near the start of the toes that are accentuated when walking, running or wearing shoes. Mechanical overload metatarsalgia is a common foot problem, with the metatarsal of the second toe being the most affected, although more than one may be affected at the same time in the same foot.


How does it originate?

In the ball of the foot are five long bones called metatarsals where the phalanges join to form the fingers One of these bones is thicker than the rest, which corresponds to the big toe, and where the famous “bunion“. The metatarsals are responsible for support body weight to take off the foot from the ground, so they receive a lot of pressure during the execution of the step.


This constant and repetitive increase in pressure in the metatarsal area produces pain and inflammation, throbbing sensation that worsens when walking either barefoot or on a hard surface or with shoes with little soles. It is usual that in the areas of maximum pressure appear corns or calluses.


On other occasions, excess pressure produces a joint displacement generating the calls hammer toeso and increasing pressure on the metatarsals.


La symptomatology along with a physical exam is enough to diagnose it. However, it is possible that symptoms similar to those caused by a Morton's neuroma, arthritis or fractures.


Most common causes

Apart from the excess presión, other causes of metatarsalgia are overweight, the morphology of the foot, the deformities of the fingers, the bunion, fractures, advanced age, inappropriate footwear (excessive heels, little sole, narrow toe,...)...


How can we solve it?

El treatment It will depend on the corresponding cause. It is generally recommended a change to footwear with low-heeled and thick-soled characteristics, lose weight, remove calluses or the use of custom templates for elimination of previous maximum pressure points study of plantar pressures of the tread.


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  • M, Angeles
    Posted at 16: 19h, 17 March Reply

    I have in the right foot, two
    I have two marton neuromas on my right foot, apart from a DSI, as a result of stepping on it, I have developed a metathalsargia in my left foot, well, I am also diabetic, what can I do?

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