A Metatarsalgia injury is a painful affliction that can trouble runners. Also known as a stone bruise, it manifests as pain in the ball of the foot (the metatarsal). This article will explore how to identify metatarsalgia, the causes of it and how to treat it.


How to identify metatarsalgia

This injury commonly effects runners and other highly physically active people. It can be identified by a burning or shooting pain just behind the big toe. The ball of the foot can hurt when standing, jumping or flexing the toes. It can be mild, but the pain may increase over time.


What causes metatarsalgia

In between the metatarsal bones in the feet, are tiny nerves. If the metatarsal bones press against each other the nerves can become pinched. When the nerves are trapped like that they can become inflamed, causing the metatarsalgia injury. Because the bones will press against each other with each step (or jump, or other downward pressure), the pain will steadily increase.


There are a number of factors that can cause metatarsalgia or make it worse:


  • As you age the padding in your feet thins, leaving your metatarsals with less padding
  • Having a high arch or a longer second toe can contribute to the pain
  • Wearing shoes that are too tight, or frequently wearing high heels can force the metatarsals bones to squeeze together
  • Carrying excess weight on the body can add extra pressure to the feet
  • Stress fractures can also contribute to metatarsalgia
  • Diabetes sufferers may have increased risk
  • rheumatoid arthritis sufferers may find increased inflammation increases pain.


How to treat metatarsalgia

If you suspect you have a Metatarsalgia injury or you have been diagnosed, you may like to try one or some of the following ideas to reduce the pain and swelling:


  • Use over the counter anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen to help reduce pain
  • Apply ice to the site regularly (ensure ice is wrapped – do not apply ice directly to skin)
  • Elevate feet when sitting
  • Reduce high impact sports and introduce alternatives such as swimming or cycling
  • Use orthotic insole inserts to help reduce pressure and provide cushioning to the metatarsals




About Enertor Advanced Technology Insoles –  Enertor insoles are designed to prevent a number of common running injuries and provide more comfort. Designed by leading podiatrists to reduce your risk of injury,  the unique design features support your foot throughout training.  Enertor insoles are enhanced by D3O impact protection technology, which means they can provide more shock absorption than any other insole.  Our expertise, combined with the patented D3O shock absorption technology, enables Enertor to deliver the most advanced injury prevention insoles on the market today.

Enertor insoles are available to buy from our online shop .


Whilst Enertor has over 18 years Orthotics experience, our blog content is provided for informational purposes only and it is not a substitute for your own doctor’s medical advice. Enertor advises anyone with an injury to seek their own medical advice – and do not make any health or medical related decisions based solely on information found on this site