Do you sometimes have a stinging pain in the front of your foot? Yeah, that can be irritating.
But you’ve still not figured out what exactly causes frontal foot pain, have you? And you probably just wait for the pain to wear out so you might not be that aware of the healing and preventive measures either.
Well, that changes now.
Here is everything you need to know about frontal foot pain, its causes, symptoms, and how to heal and prevent it:
What is frontal foot pain and what causes it?
Metatarsalgia is a name given to the condition wherein the front or ball of your feet starts to pain and becomes inflamed.
One of the most common causes of front foot pain is excess pressure on your forefoot that ultimately leads to pain and inflammation in the long bones that are present in the front of your feet, just below your toes, i.e., the head of the metatarsal bones.
And this pain on top of the foot starts to feel like a bruise if not cared for soon.
Other symptoms often include a sharp, aching or burning pain that tends to worsen when you stand, walk or run, especially barefoot, a constant numbness or a tingling sensation in your toes, etc.
This type of foot pain is often associated with causes that aren’t really due to any underlying disease or dangerous condition to be worried about. Take a look at what might lead to it:
- Intense foot activity
Distant runners are often at risk of developing Metatarsalgia, mainly because the ball of the foot tends to absorb a great amount of force when a person is running. However, besides distant runners, anybody who tends to participate in a high-impact sport and that too frequently is at risk of getting troubled by Metatarsalgia.
Excess weight is also quite a common cause of frontal foot pain. This is primarily because when one moves, most of their body weight is likely to get transferred to their forefoot. So, the extra the weight, the more chances of formation of pressure on your metatarsals.
- Poor shoe fitting
The type of shoes you wear also determines a large part of your foot health. In fact, too-small shoes or high heels are one of the major reasons as to why women often have frontal foot pain. Even athletic shoes that lack padding and don’t offer much support and shoes with a narrow toe box are often the culprits.
- Certain foot deformities
Foot deformities like hammertoe, bunions, etc., can cause this annoying problem of frontal foot pain too.
Hammertoe is like a downward curling toe, i.e., an abnormal bend in the middle joint of a toe; and bunions are the big swollen bumps that tend to appear at the base of your toe and hurt quite a lot.
- After-effects of medication
Certain types of medications can also lead to swelling of the foot and end up triggering metatarsalgia.
- Morton’s neuroma
This is a noncancerous growth of fibrous tissue around a nerve that generally tends to occur between the third and fourth metatarsals, thereby causing metatarsal stress and leading to sharp frontal foot pain.
Metatarsalgia is quite common and almost anybody can have it, however, these risk factors mean that you need to stay a bit sharper if any of these apply to you:
- Frequent involvement in high-impact sports like running and jumping.
- Overweight and/or obesity.
- Foot problems like calluses, hammertoe, bunions, etc.
- Inflammatory arthritis
- Stress fractures.
Ways to treat and relieve front foot pain
Although the causes of Metatarsalgia vary from person to person, the ways to treat this pain rarely vary and can be used to heal the condition, regardless of the reason why it happened.
- Give your feet some rest
Don’t put too much pressure on your feet, especially your front foot, and give it ample rest.
Avoid engaging in intense sports and activities for some time, or even if you do engage in some exercise or activity, use an ice pack for your feet in 20-30 minute intervals to ease the pain.
Apply ice packs to the required area several times during the day, even if you don’t engage in many exercises.
However, low-impact exercise that involves stretching is often recommended for faster healing as it tends to increase flexibility and strength while decreasing and easing the pain.
- Wear proper shoes
The first and the foremost thing to consider is to wear shoes that are comfortable and provide your feet with enough space to get air so that at least some type of circulation takes place.
Be it shoes or socks, make sure that you choose just the perfect fit for your feet, the type that isn’t too tight, is comfortable enough, and lets your feet feel free and not suffocated.
And avoid being barefoot as much as possible because that might just worsen the condition and could even lead to possible infections.
As excess weight can also be a great problem when it comes to frontal foot pain, it is best to exercise and lose some weight, thereby stopping your body to deliver a huge amount of weight on your forefoot.
If your frontal foot pain does not heal within 6-8 weeks and the condition seems to have worsened or the pain increases, then it is best to seek a trusted doctor.
Metatarsalgia if left untreated then it can also lead to more problems like pain in other parts of either of the feet and even in other parts of the entire body, including the lower back and/or hip.
So, consulting a doctor is always better than ignoring a foot problem, or any other medical condition for that matter, as the pain medication prescribed to you in the former case might be really helpful to quicken the pace of your healing.