Metatarsalgia: what is it, causes and how is the treatment performed
Metatarsalgia is the pain that affects the anterior part of the foot that is composed of the metatarsal bones, these are small bones that form the fingers and the back or shoulder of the foot. This pain can arise for several reasons such as the use of inappropriate heels and shoes, high impact exercises, overweight or the presence of some deformity in the feet.
This pain can be cured and the treatment is based on the performance of physiotherapy exercises to improve the support and mobility of the feet, in addition to the use of orthopedic plants to relieve the pain in walking. It is important to consult a traumatologist or a physiatrist if the pain is persistent, but a further evaluation is needed to determine what is the cause and what is the most appropriate treatment.
Metatarsalgia generally arises when there is an irritation of the joints, tendons or nerves that support the metatarsals and can be caused by:
Use of high heels or pointed shoes, can tend to increase the pressure in the metatarsals;
Deformities in the feet, like the arched forefoot or alterations in the shape of the fingers, like the juanete. See some advice to take care of Juanete;
overweightwhich causes greater overload on los huesos de los pies;
Neurological diseases that affect the nerves of the feet, such as Morton’s Neuroma;
Perform high-impact physical activities or for many hours, such as running long distances, especially when there is no proper orientation, which leads to an overload of the metatarsals;
Development of arthritis or arthrosis in the metatarsalsdue to age-related bone wear or inflammation due to changes in immunity.
To confirm the cause of metatarsalgia, the physician or physical therapist must, in addition to observing the symptoms, identify changes in the feet and if it is necessary to request tests such as X-rays of the feet, the podoscopy, which allows the visualization and study of the plantar huellas and the different ejes de los pies or baropodometría, which allows you to evaluate the places of mayor presión in los pies, al camina or al esta de pie.
The metatarsalgia causes pain symptoms in the foot plant, which generally worsens the walking or the foot remains for a long time. As the cause persists, which worsens the deformity of the feet, the pain can become intense and many times, it can disable the performance of the activities.
In addition, it is common for people with metatarsalgia to present calluses in the empeine del pie, as these are the areas that suffer the greatest pressure. Similarly, deviations or alterations in the shape of the foot can be observed, such as deviations of the fingers or the formation of bony protuberances.
How is the treatment performed?
To treat metatarsalgia, it is recommended to undergo an evaluation by a traumatologist, physiatrist or physical therapist, who will be able to determine the possible causes and indicate the most appropriate treatments for each person. The main recommendations include:
taking anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Diclofenac or ketoprofen, for example, which are indicated by the doctor to relieve pain and illness;
perform physical therapywith exercises to improve the support and mobility of the pies, in addition to training strength and balance, helping to correct the footsteps.
Prefer to wear comfortable and adapted footwearavoiding the use of fitted heels or shoes;
Using orthopedic plants to measure, which allow adjusting the feet and the zapato and reducing the overload on the metatarsals.
The treatment with surgery can be indicated by the traumatologist, when the previous treatments are not effective, especially when there is much deformity or excessive rigidity in the metatarsals.
Home treatment options
To relieve metatarsalgia, an excellent home remedy is to rotate a bottle or a handful of canicas under the feet, performing backward movements. These types of exercises help to massage the foot plant and relax the muscles, relieving tension in this region.
In addition, if you can soak your feet in Tibia water for 20 to 30 minutes, lean on your feet up high or massage your feet with essential oils, this will allow you to alleviate the discomfort and pain in the foot plant.
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