If you’ve felt numbness, tingling, or a sharp or burning ache in the ball of your foot, you may be experiencing the initial signs of metatarsalgia.
Metatarsalgia, sometimes described by patients as forefoot pain, can often limit your ability to comfortably exercise. It can be caused by a range of factors, including being overweight, having a high foot arch, wearing the wrong shoes or even overusing your feet in high-intensity activities.
Here are some actions you can take to treat metatarsalgia before it escalates into a more painful condition.
#1: See a podiatrist
Early treatment is critical for treating forefoot pain, so if you’re experiencing initial symptoms, it’s a good idea to book an appointment with your local podiatrist. If you have been ignoring symptoms and your pain is beginning to significantly impact your daily activities, immediate treatment may be required.
A podiatrist will be able to treat metatarsalgia through a combination of:
- Foot mobilisation therapy (FMT)
- Customised orthotics to relieve pressure on the metatarsal bones
- Fitted toe pads to cushion forefoot shock in daily activities
- Activity modification and a tailored exercise program
- Dry needling.
#2: Keep your feet rested
Avoid engaging in high-intensity activity on your feet, such as running, to prevent your pain from intensifying. While you recover, you can complete low-impact exercise, including swimming, to keep active through rehabilitation. When resting, elevate your feet to provide extra comfort and to help minimise further swelling.
#3: Take over-the-counter pain relievers
Over-the-counter pain relievers, including paracetamol, can help to temporarily soothe your foot pain. Pain relievers may also reduce the severity of other metatarsalgia symptoms, such as swelling.
#4: Ice your feet
Holding an ice pack to your feet can provide short-term relief if you are experiencing burning pain in the ball of your foot. You can apply ice packs as needed throughout the day for up to 10-20 minutes at a time. We recommend keeping your ice packs wrapped in a tea towel to protect your skin.
Consult our podiatrists for early forefoot pain treatment
If you’re experiencing symptoms of metatarsalgia, it’s important to get professional advice before your condition develops further. At Better Feet and Body Podiatry, our holistic treatment addresses your immediate symptoms while preventing future damage. You can book an appointment with us online, or simply call our clinic on (03) 9588 2348.