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Foot & Heel pain
Many people have pain in the ball or heel of their foot. This could be due to overuse of one of many different structures in your foot. Common examples are
Sesamoiditis (inflammation of structures surrounding two small bones under the big toe joint)
Plantar Fasciitis (overuse of a ligament-like structure that runs underneath the length of the foot).
Metatarsalgia (Ball of Foot Pain)
Foot pain is usually caused by a mechanical problem with your feet such as poor foot biomechanics, muscle imbalance or restrictions, poor training techniques or incorrect footwear.
Causes of Sesamoiditis
Treatment for Sesamoidits
‘Flat feet’ and ‘fallen arches’ are terms used to describe lowering of the long inner arch of the foot, but there is no ‘perfect’ foot structure, it is as individual as we are. In the past, it was thought that flat feet were a sign of a poorly developed or poorly structured foot. Now we know that people with flat feet function generally well and that flat feet don’t cause many foot problems. The most important factor in foot soreness and injury is not how flat or high your arches are, but the way you walk and move. If your feet move abnormally while you are walking or standing, this can make you more prone to injuries and foot pain.
Causes of Plantar Fasciitis
Pain on standing first thing in the morning is a classic symptom of plantar fasciitis. It is one of the most common problems experienced by runners, accounting for about 10 per cent of running injuries. It is also common among middle-aged people, particularly if they are overweight. It often starts with low-grade pain in the arch or heel of the foot and can get worse over weeks or months.
Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis
A podiatrist may prescribe exercises, cushioning insoles, orthotics or assess your footwear. Continuing problems may need imaging such including ultrasound or Xrays or referral for a cortisone injection or surgical opinion. However, most people with plantar fasciitis don’t need injections or surgery. If you are experiencing mid-foot pain, see an Easy Feet podiatrist for advice.
Metatarsalgia (Ball of foot pain)
Metatarsalgia is an umbrella term used to describe pain felt at the fore foot and includes a range of symptoms. Metatarsalgia usually occurs at the ball of the foot. It is quite common and can present in a variety of different ways and is quite painful. Usually pain is present at the area of the metatarsals heads of the foot. Pain is usually felt upon performing weight bearing activities such as walking, running or standing. Pain may generally be noticed to increase when walking barefoot on hard surfaces. You may start to notice an alteration in your gait, so as to avoid applying pressure to the area of discomfort.
Causes of Metatarsalgia
The true cause of Metatarsalgia is not specific and can be narrowed down to:
Plantar plate injuries
All of these factors ultimately lead to an alteration of the biomechanics of the foot, thus causing an increase in pressure at a particular area of the forefoot, leading to pain and discomfort.
Treatment for Metatarsalgia
Treatment methods range from using the RICE therapy, which involves resting, icing, compressing and elevation to the use of padding, taping and orthoses. The aim of all the treatment methods would be to offload the area and to aid with redistributing the pressure to other areas of the foot. If you are experiencing ball of foot pain, see an Easy Feet podiatrist for advice.