This is a painful condition that occurs in the ball of the foot.
People often describe it as a stabbing or burning pain. Or say that they have a shooting pain into the toes but it is often hard to work out which toe.
Sometimes people describe it as feeling like a small stone is stuck in their foot or that there is wrinkle in the sock they just can’t smooth out.
Tight fitting shoes can sometimes aggravate this and to relieve the discomfort people often describe having to take their shoe off and massage their foot.
It also occurs more commonly in people with a highly mobile forefoot that tends to splay as you walk and It is 5 times more likely in women than men.
It is caused by compression or irritation around one of the nerves in your forefoot between the metatarsals and causes fibrous tissue to build up around it. Little sacks of fluid around the metatarsals called bursae can also become inflamed and add to the compression effect.
The treatments vary depending on the severity and also how each individual responds to treatment. The first step is to look at foot wear and to ensure that that your shoes fit well, are not too tight across the forefoot or too loose and baggy. It is also important the heel is not too high or completely flat.
Here at Brightwell clinic we will look at your foot function and may suggest exercises to build up strength and stability in your foot or insoles to support the foot and reduce the irritation. Often we use a little pad called a met dome to spread the metatarsals apart slightly.
If this doesn’t solve the problem down then the next step would be to have a steroid injection under a guided ultrasound. This ensures the steroid is injected in exactly the right spot and should settle the chronic inflammation. In particular severe cases a small operation can be performed where the fibrosed nerve is removed. This is a very successful procedure although it can result in some numbness in the toes.
If you have any of these symptoms get in touch and we can take a look and help you solve the problem.