Metatarsalgia is a condition of the foot that specifically affects the third and fourth ball of the metatarsals of the toes. This condition mostly manifests in weight bearing circumstances such as in athletes and pregnant women. It is a condition that characterizes pain and inflammation in the metatarsal region of the foot, the bones right before the toe areas. This happens when a huge portion of the body weight is placed on the feet, most especially the metatarsals. The excessive pressure that bears down on the feet leads to the pain and swelling of the affected areas. However, this is not a serious condition; it is even quite easy to treat Metatarsalgia. It may lead though to restrictions in activity, which may greatly affect athletes. Athletes should mellow down on the activities and may proceed to light exercises and sports like swimming, which do not put great emphasis on the body’s weight to the feet.
Metatarsalgia treatment is easy and simple as management of the symptoms is the focus in treating the ailment. The symptoms of Metatarsalgia often manifest abruptly, though it has been developing over time. Those who are prone as well are women who often wear high heels that put a lot of pressure on the balls of the feet. Continuous pressure and friction among the joints tend to lead to an inflammation and swelling. These symptoms cause the sharp pain felt at the metatarsal area. The nerves surrounding the metatarsal region are compressed repetitively due to activity and thus, yield a swelling of the nerve tissues.
Metatarsalgia treatment involves a few simple measures for the common neuralgic pain. Although severe cases may lead to a surgery that removes the inflamed nerve tissues affecting the metatarsals, most cases are commonly treated with rest, an ice pack and medication. As with any inflammation and pain, to provide relief an ice pack is placed at the site of the swelling to reduce any more of the engorgement. Inflammation may also be reduced as physicians may prescribe an anti-inflammatory drug such as an Ibuprofen. Rest and alleviation of any restrictive and strenuous activity are inevitable in preventing any more damage that may be inflicted in the affected foot. Low impact exercises for athletes are advised so as not to provide any more stress or strain. Pain is reduced as the feet are well- rested, and as the joints undergo a normal recovery phase.
Aside from the mentioned common measures for Metatarsalgia treatment, it is also advised that the individual should minimize restrictive footwear. Thin soles and high heels do not bode well for this type of ailment. Some doctors may even advise the use of orthotics or metatarsal pads that are a great relief when pressure on the feet is applied. This is not a medical condition that one must worry about. It is common and is almost inevitable in an individual such as among athletes. Understand that weight plays a big role in pressure on the balls of our feet. Adequate rest and recognition of early symptoms may prevent the severity of the ailment.
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