Metatarsalgia Information

Metatarsalgia Information

The term metatarsalgia is commonly used to denote pain in the metatarsal region of the foot. It is not a condition to itself, but rather a descriptive symptom that can accompany or be caused from an array of other diagnosable foot conditions.

 

Metatarsalgia


Anatomy Of The Metatarsal Region

Metatarsalgia pain is in the metatarsal bones and joints and ball of the foot. Metatarsal bones are numbered starting at the big toe and working toward the little toe (1st through 5th metatarsal bones). Each metatarsal is sectioned into the body, base, and head. The metatarsal head is the at the distal end of each metatarsal. Each distal end of the metatarsal bones articulate with their proximal phalanx bone.

Gravity transfers a great deal of body weight to the foot during normal standing. However, this force is exaggerated in the forefront of the foot during the push-off and mid-stance phases of gait. The force is then transferred on to the metatarsal heads, with the most force being transferred to the first and second metatarsal heads.

What Is Metatarsalgia?


Pain in any of the above metatarsal regions is described using the term metatarsalgia. That said, the pain is most often in the forefoot (ball of the foot) area that’s under the 4th, 3rd, and 2nd metatarsal heads. The pain is also commonly located directly at the 1st metatarsal head.

What Causes Metatarsalgia?

There are many medical conditions and disease processes that can be responsible for metatarsalgia. It may also be the result of an overuse or traumatic injury causing regional pain. All of these can change the mechanics of the foot or load distribution in the foot, thereby resulting metatarsalgia. Some examples of common causes include any of the following:

* high impact activities (aerobics, jumping, running)
* tight toe extensors and/or weak toe flexors
* prominent metatarsal heads
* hammertoe
* Achilles tendon tightness
* excessive foot pronation
* high foot arch
* unusually long toes or a comparatively longer 2nd toe
* bunions
* Morton’s neuroma
* metatarsophalangeal synovitis
* avascular necrosis
* sesamoiditis
* arthritis
* trauma involving the sole of the foot
* lisfranc injury
* stress fractures
* wearing ill-fitting, thin soled, tight, or high heeled shoes
* obesity or rapid changes in weight

What Are The Symptoms Of Metararsalgia?

Metararsalgia symptoms most often have a gradual onset, but may occasionally be immediate, especially following a traumatic injury.

* pain may be described as a dull ache, burning or sharp shooting pains
* pain in one or more metatarsal heads
* pain in the ball of the foot
* pain that’s aggravated during standing, walking, running, or jumping and improves with rest
* pain that’s aggravated by walking barefoot
* there may be a sensation as if one is walking with a pebble in their shoe, even though there isn’t one
* tingling or numbness in the toes
* tenderness over the affected metatarsal head(s)
* possible callus formation (plantar keratosis)
* inflammation in the toes and/or ball of foot

 

Strengthening Exercises

These Metatarsalgia Exercises are ideal to build strength and flexibility.

Massage Treatment

These Metatarsalgia Massage Techniques are of great value in pain relief; circulation stimulation; dispersing blood and fluid accumulations; swelling reduction; and relaxing muscle spasms, especially when used alongside the Sinew Therapeutics liniments and soaks.

 

ACUTE STAGE SYMPTOMS AND TREATMENT

 

This stage is characterized by swelling, redness, pain, and possibly a local sensation of heat, indicating inflammation. If coolness makes your pain feel better, then the Acute Stage Treatment is recommended.

 

ACUTE STAGE SYMPTOMS:

 

The acute stage starts the moment an injury occurs and lasts until the swelling and inflammation are gone. The swelling is the result of the blockage of blood, tissue fluids and circulation in the foot because their normal movement has been disrupted by the force of the injury. Just like cars back up behind a traffic jam, causing congestion, exhaust and overheating; blood and fluids back up behind the injured foot, causing pain, inflammation, lumps and swelling.

The sensation of heat is due to the warming action of the blood and fluids overheating in the injured foot as they back up and accumulate. Stiffness and decreased mobility are due to spasms in tendons and ligaments that have contracted reflexively beyond their normal range from the impact of the injury.

As ligaments and tendons stretch and tear, blood from ruptured blood vessels becomes trapped in the local tissues. As the trapped blood clots up, it sticks the tissues together creating adhesions. Adhesions cause pain, inflammation and restricted movement because the layers of tissue that used to slide smoothly across one another now adhere and snap which interferes with normal functioning. It is essential to break up clotted blood as quickly as possible to prevent adhesions and scar tissue from forming.

During the acute stage it is very important to restore normal circulation to the foot, break up clotted blood and stagnant fluids, reduce swelling, and reduce the redness and heat associated with inflammation. By restoring the flow of blood, fluids, and circulation in the foot, then pain is relieved, damaged tissues can regenerate with healthy functional tissue, and the foot can strengthen and regain it's mobility.

 

ACUTE STAGE TREATMENT:

 

1. Apply the Sinew Herbal Ice on your foot to reduce redness, swelling, and inflammation while dispersing accumulated blood and fluids to help restore normal circulation to the foot. This first-aid treatment is used in place of ice to significantly speed up the healing process. It reduces the swelling and inflammation more effectively than ice, allowing you to more quickly regain range of motion. Acute Sinew Liniment can be used in-between applications.

Ice is not recommended because it does not help repair damaged tissues and keeps everything in the injured area frozen, causing the stagnation of blood and fluids and the contraction of muscles, tendons and ligaments. In Chinese sports medicine ice is not used and is considered a culprit in injuries that donít heal well.

2. Massage your foot with Acute Sinew Liniment to relieve pain, reduce swelling and inflammation, break up clotted blood and stagnant fluids, and stimulate circulation of blood and fluids to help cells quickly repair damaged tissues. Sinew Herbal Ice can be used in-between applications.

3. The Sinew Sports Massage Oil is recommended for use before and after exercise, sports and strenuous activity. It warms and stimulates your muscles, increases circulation and relieves tightness, hence improving your performance and helping to prevent injury.

 

 

CHRONIC STAGE SYMPTOMS AND TREATMENT

 

This stage begins once the swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel pain, stiffness, weakness, and/or sensitivity in cold and damp weather. If heat makes your pain feel better, then the Chronic Stage Treatment is recommended.


CHRONIC STAGE SYMPTOMS:

 

The chronic stage begins once the swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel aching pain and stiffness. This is because there are still accumulations of stagnant blood and fluids in your foot that are blocking circulation and blood supply to damaged tissues, creating residual pain, stiffness and weakness. You may actually feel hard nodules like sand in the tissue, indicating accumulation, calcification, and adhesions, which all cause pain, stiffness, and joint instability.

Your foot may feel more sensitive to the cold and ache in cold and damp weather due to impaired circulation. When you move your foot you may hear a clicking or popping sound from the tendons and ligaments slipping very slightly in and out of their natural alignment indicating weakness and joint instability, causing chronic pain and a cycle of reinjury. These symptoms are often the result of failure to treat the injury properly from the outset and overicing.

Increasing circulation and blood supply to the damaged tissues is very important in treating chronic injuries because tendons and ligaments do not have an extensive direct supply of blood. That is why chronic injuries can be slow to heal. Increasing local circulation also prevents cold and dampness from penetrating the injured area, preventing pain and stiffness.

During the chronic stage it is very important to break up remaining accumulations of blood and fluids, and increase circulation and blood supply to the damaged tissues. By increasing circulation and blood flow in the foot, then pain and stiffness is relieved, and the tendons and ligaments can strengthen to restore stability.


CHRONIC STAGE TREATMENT:

 

1. Massage your foot with Chronic Sinew Liniment to relieve pain and stiffness, strongly stimulate circulation and blood flow to damaged tissues, and promote the healing of overstretched tendons and ligaments. The Sinew Relaxing Soak can be used in-between applications.

2. Soak your foot with the Sinew Relaxing Soak to relax muscles and tendons that are in spasm, ease joint pain and stiffness, and improve range of motion. The Sinew Relaxing Soak is particularly useful if you feel restricted mobility in your foot. Chronic Sinew Liniment can be used in-between applications.

3. The Sinew Sports Massage Oil is recommended for use before and after exercise, sports and strenuous activity. It warms and stimulates your muscles, increases circulation and relieves tightness, hence improving your performance and helping to prevent injury.