Image Source: Freepik.com/Fabrikasimf
Seeking relief from painful metatarsals is important because it not only affects normal walk but can also deteriorate the foot condition that leads to further complications in the long run. The metatarsal bones or the metatarsus are a group of five long bones in the foot between the tarsal bone of the hind and mid foot and the phalanges of the toes. In this condition, the ball of the foot is affected as the metatarsals are the bones that connect the toes to the ankles.
Pain in metatarsals usually results from high impact sports, arthritis and inappropriate footwear such as high heeled and pointy shoes. There are various ways to get rid of the pain depending on the extent of pain as well as the factors that cause it.
Treating Painful Metatarsals
It is important to seek medical advice if metatarsals are causing pain because a doctor will carefully examine the affected area and prescribe medication. The doctor might also go for an x-ray to check out the actual condition of the bone from inside and the help you find relief in the most effective manner.
Image Source: Unsplash/Jan Romero
Here are some of the most common and easy ways to treat painful metatarsals:
- Ice Treatment: Applying ice to the affected area several times a day, for about 15 to 20 minutes can help to protect the skin and prevent the burning pain sensation.
- Wear Insoles: Another way to seek pain relief is by wearing insoles that support the foot and reduce the pain.
- Use Medicine: Over the counter drugs and anti-inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen and Tylenol are helpful in reducing the inflammation and keeping the pain away.
- Light Movement: Putting the feet up is also a great way to avoid putting pressure on the bone and gives relief from pain; there are metatarsal pads or bars available that take off the pressure from the bone as well as shock absorbing insoles or arches which elevate the pressure during walk which gives relief.
- Right Footwear: Use of proper footwear plays a key role in ensuring pain free metatarsals as high heels, pointy or tight toes and other fashion shoes can lead to painful condition; cushioned soles inside the shoes can also prevent and relieve pain.
- Exercise: For people whose metatarsals result from sports activities, doctors can recommend other forms of exercise to alleviate pain such as swimming and cycling to avoid putting pressure on the feet.
- Extensive Treatment: In case no other treatment works, the doctor might go for steroid injection to help with swelling and pain.
- Surgical Treatment: Surgery is also a means to treat painful metatarsals in case all other means of treatment fail but the surgery will depend on the extent of problem the patient is facing; surgery is used for reshaping the bones to straighten a hammer toe or claw toes and even remove a trapped or irritated nerve for relief.
- Weight Control: It has been noticed that overweight and obese people suffer from pain in metatarsals so maintaining a healthy body weight is important to avoid this condition and keep the pressure off the bone.
It is important to note that people who are recovering from injuries must follow the doctor’s advice and avoid any strenuous activities as not giving body enough time to heal can also result in painful metatarsals. In addition to this, not paying attention to inflamed metatarsals or resuming the sports or daily activities too soon can also cause complications and the pain can spread to other parts of the foot, causing further pain and complications.
Extreme pain and inflammation can restrict walk and numerous other daily life activities. It is essential to pay attention to the cause of metatarsals and seek physician’s advice to get timely and most effective treatment for better quality life, free of all discomfort.