WHAT IS IT? METATARSALGIA
Metatarsals are the long bones in the feet. 1st ray is the metatarsal in line with the big toe. The 5th metatarsal is the metatarsal in line with the little toe.
Metatarsalgia is pain of the forefoot brought about by abnormal foot biomechanics.
Also referred to as metatarsophalangeal joint synovitis.
Can involve an increased shearing load placed on the transverse ligaments and intrinsic muscles of the foot. This can result in inflammation of the metatarsophalangeal joints (MTP).
Signs & Symptoms
Pain in the forefoot
Aggravated by weight-bearing
Pain comes on gradually
Joints are tender to touch
The 2nd MTP joint is the most commonly affected
Callous may be present under the affected joint
What Causes It?
Hypermobility of the foot
How to Self Manage
Anti-inflammatory medication for short term pain relief (if not contraindicated)
Wear activity-appropriate footwear, with cushioning.
If conservative management a corticosteroid injection may be required to settle the pain and inflammation.
X-ray may be useful to determine the degree of bony stress and degeneration.
How Physio Helps
Assessment to identify contributing biomechanical factors
Padding to redistribute loading
Podiatric referral if necessary
Prescription of exercises to strengthen the intrinsic muscles