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Metatarsalgia- Ball Of Foot Pain

Strengthen Your Feet & Reduce Your Risk!

Posted by Cliff_Bouvier - July 11th, 2013

It is important to treat your feet with care since we walk so much and our feet bear the majority of the burden.  Each foot contains 28 bones and 35 joints which makes foot pain a serious matter as it can create more physical ailments if not addressed.

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A common injury among athletes is metatarsalgia which affects the metatarsal bones. Metatarsals are the set of bones that run from your toes to the base of your ankle. This injury occurs from overuse and causes pain & inflammation in the ball of the foot.  If even one metatarsal bone drops out of alignment, especially those that are near the toes (metatarsal heads), it can cause inflammation and pain. There is also soft tissue and nerves that reside in the space between the metatarsals and rolling your feet as well as tight footwear can close this space causing pain due to the soft tissue and nerves and being pinched.

Most commonly the pain is located between the 3rd and 4th or 2nd and 3rd metatarsals, but the injury can affect the entire foot. Consistently putting weight on the injured foot from walking or running can make the pain worsen. However, you can easily lessen the pain with plenty of rest as well as icing the area.

Tips To Help Build Stronger Feet!

  • Walking barefoot is not only good for the muscles of your feet, but for the body as a whole. You should walk barefoot as often as you can. Most shoes are designed with lots of padding/cushion and over time this can greatly weaken your feet. Surfaces like grass provide a safe environment for barefoot walking and surfaces like sand have an uneven terrain which helps build ankle stability.
  • You can exercise your feet by rolling your toes forward and backward or by trying to pick up objects like a towel or small ball.
  • If you are not used to walking barefoot when you do decide to wear shoes, choose a quality shoe with extra padding. This will help to reduce pain and soreness during the day as your feet get stronger. If your feet start to become really sore you can apply ice to them on a regular basis.

Feet Relaxation & Care!

  • Relaxation is a good remedy for tired & sore feet. After a long day of standing, try sitting in a chair and rolling a bottle with the base of your feet forward and backward. This will help massage the bottom of your feet and relieve aches and pain.
  • If you are worried about having hard calluses, use a pumice stone to clean your feet. It will remove the hard skin and help them feel soft and supple.

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Footpain is no joke.. great article!


I am going through this right now. On the healing side of things but its hard to get the cardio in.

Scott_Herman  Edit  Delete  Close

yeah, the pain definitely makes it tough. Hope you heal up soon!