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By Crofton Podiatry
July 21, 2017
Category: Foot Conditions

After a long day of sports training or walking around in high heels, the balls of your feet may hurt. Unless you bring other shoes to change into, the route home can seem so long that you may be tempted to take your shoes off and go barefoot. So what’s going on?

Pain in the balls of your feet is generally referred to as metatarsalgia. The five bones between the toes and the arch are called the metatarsals. When one or more of the joints involving those bones becomes affected, it can become inflamed and cause you pain. People who repeatedly put pressure on the metatarsal joints may notice a callus there. 

What can cause metatarsalgia?

  • Uncomfortable and unsupportive shoes – Women who wear a lot of high heels will often notice this type of pain because they bear most of their weight on the balls of the feet while walking. Additionally, when anyone wears shoes that do not have good arch support or have toe boxes that are too narrow, it can cause irritation to the metatarsals. Poorly fitting shoes can also cause other issues like foot deformities that can put pressure on your metatarsals.

  • Intense training or exercise – Any activity that includes impact on the feet (e.g. walking or jumping) risks pain because of the forces that the midfoot endures.

  • Other conditions: Stress fractures, Morton’s Neuroma, Arthritis, Obesity – If you have trauma or repeated injury, you can develop broken or fractured bones that alters your gait in a way that applies pressure on the feet. Additionally, Morton’s Neuroma affects the third and fourth toes, with extra fibrous tissue growing around the nerve in the metatarsals that could cause pain. Furthermore, because arthritis affects the joints, the metatarsal joints are subject to arthritic pain. Finally, being overweight can also make you put more pressure at the forefoot, applying more pressure on the metatarsals.

How to ease pain

Because metatarsalgia is more of a condition to describe the pain in the ball of the feet, pain relief includes symptom management. In most cases, the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, elevation) can help after a day of walking or exercise. Changing to more supportive and shoes can also help prevent and relieve symptoms. Some orthotics (like metatarsal pads) may be in order for those with deformities or pain from shoes, especially if you have specific work shoes that need to be worn.

When these treatments do not work, you may need to check for other conditions that may be contributing to metatarsalgia. If foot deformities like hammertoes are causing pain, surgery to correct that issue may be required. To find the best solution, consult with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll at Crofton Podiatry. Make an appointment by calling (410) 721-4505. Our team is ready to assist you and your family at our Crofton, MD office, which also serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie areas.

By Crofton Podiatry
April 06, 2017
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: ball of foot   sesamoiditis   big toe  

That’s a mouthful to say, don’t you think?

But dancers, runners, and baseball catchers know it all too well as a common injury for their respective sports. The sesamoids in the feet are 2 small bones that are not directly connected to other bones at a joint. They sit under the big toe joint and are only connected to tendons or in muscle tissue.

When the tendons around the sesamoids become inflamed or injured, the condition is called sesamoiditis, which is a form of tendonitis. Normally, the sesamoids allow for tendons to move about over them, but when there is overuse or an injury, that motion can cause inflammation and pain. The action of standing or sitting on tippy-toes, hard and repetitive impact on the bones, and blunt trauma injuries to the bones can cause sesamoiditis, which is the reason why certain athletes are familiar with this condition.

What are the Symptoms?

  • Since sesamoiditis is an inflammatory issue, there will likely be swelling, in addition to bruising, depending on the cause of the condition.
  • The big toe joint, where it meets the ball of the foot will experience pain. This pain can grow overtime, especially if it is an overuse injury.
  • It may be painful to move or bend the big toe.
  • You may not be able to stand and bear weight on the ball of your feet.

What are the Treatment options?

  • Rest (stop the activity), Ice, and Elevate to reduce swelling. If you have pain, you can take pain killers like NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).
  • Use cushioning like a felt or foam pad to reduce pressure on the sesamoids.
  • Avoid putting weight on the balls of the feet.
  • Wear soft-soled, low-heeled shoes. Stiff-soled shoes like clogs may also be comfortable.
  • If the pain and swelling is severe, you should see your podiatrist. He may recommend a steroid injection to reduce swelling.
  • If you think the sesamoids could be fractured, see a podiatrist right away or go to the emergency room.

Worried about a sesamoid injury or pain? Our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll at Crofton Podiatry will assess your foot issues and provide the highest quality of care to get you back on your feet. Make an appointment to find out what the appropriate treatment should be by calling (410) 721-4505. Our team is ready to assist you at our Crofton, MD office, which also serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie areas.

Recently Laura Caradonna-Dubiel completed her fifth Boston Marathon, each with times within the seven minute miles.  While this would be impressive for most people, what makes it even more impressive is that she had to miss the last two marathons due to a Morton’s Neuroma. “My feet were cramping up” she said in an interview, but “I was determined to finish. I kept think ‘Boston Strong’”.

A Morton’s Neuroma (or a plantar neuroma) is a condition that involves the nerves of the feet.  The term ‘neuroma’ refers to a benign growth that occurs around our nerves, causing the tissues around the nerves to become thickened and painful.  Typically, I see patients present with a neuroma between the third and fourth toes. 

Neuromas are thought to be the result of injury, pressure or persistent irritation.  This is why we mainly see them on the bottom of the foot, where the constant pressure from each step may contribute to their development.  Most of the time, no lump will be felt in the bottom of the foot, but instead, patients often tell me at my podiatry clinic in Crofton, Maryland that they feel a sort of burning pain in the ball of their foot.  Oftentimes, this is accompanies with tingling or numbness, especially when wearing shoes with a very narrow or tight toe box.  As the condition progresses, patients will typically experience more pain and tingling, increasing in severity over time.

An experienced podiatric specialist will be able to quickly discern whether your pain is from a Morton’s Neuroma, or from any of a multitude of causes.  The earlier a foot is examined, the greater the chance for intervention without the need for surgery.  This is why I strongly suggest we strongly suggest that anyone with foot pain see a podiatrist immediately, before conditions are exacerbated.  Additionally, people who have a previous history of bunion, flat foot or other biomechanical changes are at an increased risk for developing a neuroma.

Below are the tricks that I tell my patients to best prevent a painful neuroma:

  • Have your feet sized by a professional.
  • Wear shoes that are right for your feet!
  • See your foot care specialist immediately if are experiencing persistent pain (and if you’re in the area, come check us out at Crofton Podiatry).
  • Seek guidance on modifications to your workout routine to minimize forceful impacts.

 

By Brad Toll.




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2411 Crofton Lane, Suite 25
Crofton, MD 21114

Podiatrist - Crofton, Crofton Podiatry, 2411 Crofton Lane, Suite 25, Crofton MD, 21114 (410) 721-4505