DES PLAINES, Ill., April 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Chronic pain in the ball of the foot hurts, and it can be disabling.
Metatarsalgia (http://www.OurHealthNetwork.com/metatarsalgia) is a catch-all term that includes several painful foot conditions, such as calluses, dropped metatarsal heads, bursitis, arthritis, sesamoiditis, and Morton's neuroma. Metatarsalgia (or forefoot pain) affects millions of Americans, making each step for them a nightmare.
When a person takes a step forward, the ball of his or her foot bears 100% of the person's body weight for a brief period of time. Weight, or force, on the balls of the feet increases if a person carries a heavy object, runs, or jumps. At times when a person walks, pressure on his or her feet can exceed the person's body weight. When a person runs, the pressure can be three to four times his or her normal body weight.
To make matters worse, wearing high heels, walking barefoot, and standing for long periods of time without proper support puts abnormal pressure on the balls of the feet. So even if a person's feet are perfectly aligned, he or she may experience metatarsalgia if nothing is done to protect the balls of the feet.
Dr. Paul R. Kasdan and Dr. Lowell Weil, Jr., board-certified
podiatrists and medical directors for OurHealthNetwork.com, recommend the
following measures to help avoid or alleviate metatarsalgia:
-- Wear shoes with heel heights of no more than 3/4 to 1 inch. If the
heel is higher, too much of your body weight will be thrown forward on
the balls of the feet.
-- Avoid walking barefoot. Shoes - especially those with thick, cushioned
soles - protect the feet and provide good shock absorption for the
-- Consider custom-made orthotics for metatarsalgia. Custom orthotics can
be designed to fit in dress shoes, while conta
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