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Metatarsalgia (Ball of foot pain)

Definition:

Pain in the plantar forefoot metatarsal area.

Symptoms:

This condition usually causes a burning sensation in the plantar forefoot region. Sometimes patients may describe the pain as a lump underneath the ball of the foot. Applying pressure to the plantar surface of the metatarsal heads may elicit pain.

Biomechanical etiology:

When a foot is pronated excessively for any length of time, there is a progressive weakening of the soft tissue structures. In the forefoot, as this occurs the metatarsals plantarflex and rotate. This results in shearing forces on these foot structures. After a period of time the foot may experience nerve damage or callosities.

Treatment:

VASYLI orthotics realign the metatarsal heads by dorsiflexing the 2nd, 3rd & 4th metatarsals to their neutral position, using a built-in metatarsal raise. By controlling excess pronation orthotics also prevent plantar-flexion and shearing of the metatarsal shafts. Balancing the weight distribution over the 5 metatarsal bones helps remove excess weight and friction which commonly causes the callous and burning sensation.

Exercises:

  • Intrinsic forefoot exercises.

 

Summary

Metatarsalgia:

Pain in the plantar forefoot metatarsal area caused by plantar-flexion and shearing of the metatarsal shafts due to excess pronation.

Treatment:

Pre-molded orthotic or custom made orthotic. Other: Intrinsic forefoot exercises