Definition

The metatarsal head is located on the front part of the sole of the foot.  If the pain occurs here, it is generally called metatarsalgia. When standing, the bodyweight will gradually press on the first to second metatarsals, and when running, it will withstand up to three times the weight of the ground impact. Therefore, as long as the pressure on the lower extremities or sole is unevenly distributed, metatarsalgia is prone to occur.
Self File | Metatarsalgia蹠骨痛_Causes and Physiotherapy Treatment of Foot Pain Disorder1

 

 

Causes



Forefoot pain is caused by long-term abnormal foot stress. The most common cause is high impact, excessive use of the foot, or improper gait posture. Metatarsalgia is a general term to describe the area of pain. Besides the injury to the metatarsal bone, there may also involve sesamoid bone, ligament, neuroma or tendinitis, etc.

Self File | Metatarsalgia蹠骨痛_Causes and Physiotherapy Treatment of Foot Pain Disorder2

 

 

Risk Factors
  • The most common factors are wearing inappropriate shoes, poor standing posture, inadequate rest, etc.
  • Genetic factors and congenital foot structure abnormalities (such as flat feet)

 

 

Common Symptoms
  • Long-term compression of the metatarsal area will produce thick calluses
  • Severe pain when the metatarsophalangeal joint is flexed
  • For severe cases, even standing for a short period can trigger forefoot pain and swelling. One may need to rest immediately to relieve the pain.

 

Management

Changing habits of wearing shoes is important for controlling or improving symptoms. It is suggested that choose your shoes with a larger toe-box and lower heels to reduce loading and provide enough space.

 

Also, some manual techniques, foot stretching, and strengthening exercises can effectively relieve symptoms. Electrophysical therapy, acupuncture, and joint mobilization can reduce the pain as well. If you need to do strenuous exercise, you can learn some foot arch taping methods to reduce stress during exercise.

Self File | Metatarsalgia蹠骨痛_Causes and Physiotherapy Treatment of Foot Pain Disorder

 

Self File | 蹠骨痛 Metatarsalgia_腳痛物理治療成因及運動3

Self File | 蹠骨痛 Metatarsalgia_腳痛物理治療成因及運動4

 

 

Self File | 蹠骨痛 Metatarsalgia_腳痛物理治療成因及運動1

 

 

Preventive Measures

Choose shoes with a more spacious toe-box and lower heels to prevent compressing on the protruding part of the metacarpal bones and pay attention to the walking posture.

 

 

 

 

 

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