Have you ever experienced a burning, painful sensation in the ball of your foot? If you have, chances are you’re experiencing metatarsalgia.
If you run, jump, or participate in other high-impact sports without wearing the right footwear, you’re putting yourself at risk. This sensation can be incredibly painful, and will likely sideline you from whatever activity you’re doing until you can find relief.
Fortunately, there are lots of treatment options available, including custom orthotic insoles specifically designed for metatarsalgia relief. Today, we’ll learn about this painful and annoying condition, and how custom orthotics can quickly deliver relief.
What Causes Metatarsalgia?
Metatarsalgia is a condition that develops after intense physical strain is put on the balls of your feet, at a juncture of the bones known as the metatarsals. If left untreated, it will make physical activity difficult, and can even lead to ongoing pain in other areas of the feet, and upwards into the rest of the body.
Metatarsalgia is caused by inflammation that develops after overuse. Typically, symptoms are isolated to the ball of the foot. People may experience a variety of sensations, ranging from a sharp, burning pain to numbness and tingling in the same spot. Some people even describe it as feeling like a pebble is lodged in your shoe. This ball of foot pain only goes away when the foot has been rested.
What Risk Factors are Associated with Metatarsalgia?
Anyone who puts repetitive stress on the balls of their feet is putting themself at risk for developing metatarsalgia. However, some people can do these types of activities, and rarely feel this type of pain.
Having other foot problems puts you at increased risk, as does a previous diagnosis of inflammatory arthritis.
However, this condition doesn’t just affect athletes. People who frequently wear high heels or improperly fitting shoes may also be increasing their chances of developing this frustrating condition.
The Best Treatments for Metatarsalgia Relief
At the end of a long day or an exhausting workout, it’s natural for your feet to feel tired and sore. However, if you’re experiencing ongoing pain in the ball of your foot, or feel like you can’t walk without numbness or tingling in your toes, it’s a good idea to consult a doctor.
A doctor can evaluate the source of your pain and may want to conduct some further tests, including x-ray imaging, if they believe that the cause is a stress fracture or other similar issues.
Once your doctor has ruled out other mitigating factors, they’ll be able to guide you towards the best course of treatment.
Resting your feet is an important step in relieving metatarsalgia pain. Avoid putting pressure on the balls of your feet for a few days. This includes anything from avoiding running and jumping to putting your high heels away until your feet are more comfortable.
You may also want to elevate your feet after prolonged periods of standing or walking. Ice can help and should be applied to the sore ball of your foot for 20 minutes at a time.
OTC Pain Relief
Metatarsalgia pain is caused by inflammation, so over-the-counter medicines designed to counteract swelling and inflammation can help provide relief. Popular options include ibuprofen and naproxen sodium, which are marketed as Advil and Aleve, respectively. These medications may help in the short-term, but can’t provide long-term relief if you keep putting pressure on the balls of your feet.
In an ideal world, our shoes should protect our feet from overuse-related pain. If you’re experiencing metatarsalgia, chances are your shoes aren’t doing enough to keep your feet protected. Shoes that are too loose, or too tight can cause ongoing pain in the balls of your feet.
It’s also a good idea to limit your use of high heels. They may look fantastic, but they put a lot of pressure on the balls of your feet.
Choosing Orthotics: Why Custom Orthotics are Better Than Over The Counter
If you’ve switched shoes and find that your new ones still don’t work for you, you might need a bit of extra support. This is where orthotics can be very useful.
Orthotics and metatarsal pads, which sit just under your metatarsal bone, can help cushion your feet from overuse and provide support where you need it most.
All of us have uniquely shaped feet. Custom-made insoles, like the ones from Orthotics Direct, can provide support exactly where you need it most.
Our Picks for the Best Types of Orthotic Insoles
One of the best ways to relieve ball of foot pain is to invest in a pair of custom-made insoles. These insoles are created specifically for you and come in a variety of types depending on what you need them to do.
Here are some of our favourite choices for functional insoles that actively protect against metatarsalgia.
We carry a few different types of sport orthotics. Our active insoles can be used by anyone who has a more physical lifestyle and needs a bit more support than traditional athletic shoes provide.
Depending on which of our sport orthotics you choose, you can optimize for stability, impact absorption, or anti-microbial, moisture-wicking properties.
Designed to fit into everyday sneakers and loafers, our everyday orthotics are sleek, yet provide plenty of comfortable cushioning that helps alleviate general foot discomfort. Even though they’re thinner and more flexible than some of our other orthotics, they still provide moderate cushioning that promotes increased endurance and natural, comfortable foot movements.
Do you have sensitive feet because of arthritis or diabetes? If so, you may be at a greater risk for inflammatory conditions like metatarsalgia.
The wellness orthotics we’ve designed provide maximum cushioning, and come with a hypoallergenic top cover that helps limit friction. All this combines to create a comfortable custom orthotic that’s perfect for exercise, as well as long periods of standing.
If you’re on your feet all day or work a strenuous, physical job, you need a pair of industrial orthotics. These custom orthotics are designed to be worn with work boots and safety shoes, and are made with dual-density cushioning that offers both comfort and support.
Industrial orthotics are also designed with safety in mind and have been approved by the federal government’s own CSA.
Shop the Best Orthotic Insoles for Metatarsalgia Relief at Orthotics Direct
At Orthotics Direct, we offer the best protective orthotics and insoles for the balls of your feet. Our custom fitting process gives you the opportunity to choose from a variety of insole types, which can be customized to your feet as well as the footwear of your choice.
We’ve made over a million pairs of custom orthotics already, and can answer any questions you may have about which insoles are best for metatarsalgia relief. Our goal is to help you find the right product, fit it to your feet, and ship it out as quickly as possible so you can get back to living your life free of foot pain.
Take a look at our Orthotic selection to find the best orthotics for your needs.