When a client comes to you complaining of pain in his or her feet, one condition to consider is metatarsalgia. This involves pain and inflammation in the ball of the foot, which may be the result of extensive physical activity, particularly any activity that involves repeated jumping and running or another high impact movement that involves the feet. Essentially, such activities can place excessive pressure on the ball of the foot and eventually cause metatarsalgia.
The symptoms of metatarsalgia can vary, but they all center around pain and inflammation near the ball of the foot. This could be a burning, aching or sharp pain, and it may surround the toes as well. Numbness or tingling and pain that gets worse when you’re standing may also be signs that a client is suffering from metatarsalgia. Be sure to explore this as a possible cause of your client’s pain when the issue he or she presents is described as mainly on or around the ball of the foot.
Besides participating in repeated intense physical activity involving the feet, other causes may also factor in to the development of metatarsalgia. For example, if a person has a foot that is shaped in a way that places extra pressure on the metatarsals, that can lead to this painful foot condition. Hammertoe may also mean that one is more prone to developing metatarsalgia, as can bunions. Each of this issues may be related to another problem that is connected to this condition—shoes that do not fit correctly.
Fortunately, the use of custom foot orthotics can help to alleviate the pain and inflammation associated with metatarsalgia. In fact, foot orthotics can be used to ease each of the issues described above. For example, if a person has a foot that is shaped in a way that places extra pressure on the metatarsals, a foot orthotic can be designed with the aim of supporting the foot in a way that can help significantly reduce this undue pressure. Similarly, foot orthotics may work to balance out hammertoe problems by helping the toes to stay flat within one’s shoes.
Therefore, if you have a client who is suffering from metatarsalgia, be sure to consider whether proper foot orthotics may provide a simple solution to this painful condition. With the right foot orthotics, the client may be able to get back on his or her feet—free from pain.