Our professional partners prescribe orthotics to their patients for various symptoms.
Many medical conditions often stem from a biomechanical gait abnormality that can
be treated with custom orthotics. Here are some common ailments related to poor
Metatarsalgia is not an injury; it's actually a symptom or a group of symptoms.
These may include pain in the ball of the foot, with or without bruising, and inflammation.
It is often localized in the metatarsal heads or it may be more isolated, in the
area near the big toe. One of the hallmarks of this disorder is pain in the ball
of the foot during weight-bearing activities. Sharp or shooting pains in the toes
also may be present, and pain in the toes and/or ball of the foot may increase when
the toes are flexed. Accompanying symptoms may include tingling or numbness in the
toes. It is common to experience acute, recurrent or chronic pain as a result of
Metatarsalgia develops when something changes or threatens the normal mechanics
of the foot. Ultimately, this creates excessive pressure in the ball of the foot,
and that leads to metatarsalgia. Some of the causes of metatarsalgia include:
• Being overweight: the more weight is brought to bear on the foot, the greater the
pressure is on the forefoot when taking a step.
• As men and women age, the fat pad in the foot tends to thin out, creating less cushioning
and making them more susceptible to pain in the ball of the foot.
• Wearing shoes that do not fit properly: Shoes with a narrow, tight toe box, or shoes
that cause a great deal of pressure to be put on the ball of the foot (high heels,
for example) are often the cause of metatarsalgia. Because such footwear inhibits
the walking process and forces the wearer to alter his or her step to adjust to
the shoe, the mechanics of the foot are compromised.
• Certain foot shapes contribute to metatarsalgia. A high-arched foot, or a foot with
an extra-long metatarsal bone can cause pressure on the forefoot region and contribute
to pain and inflammation there.
• Claw toes or hammertoes can press the metatarsals toward the ground and cause stress
on the ball of the foot.
• Arthritis, gout or other inflammatory joint disorders can produce pain in the ball
of the foot.
Morton's Neuroma is a thickening of the tissue that surrounds the intermetatarsal
nerve leading to the toes. When the nerve becomes squeezed and irritated, it causes
painful symptoms. Neuroma patients occasionally complain of a "pins and needles"
sensation that spreads through their fourth and fifth toes, or of a feeling akin
to hitting their "funny bone."
A neuroma can occur in response to the irritation of a nerve by one or more factors:
• Abnormal foot function or foot mechanics: primarily excessive pronation that causes
strain on the nerve.
• Improper footwear: constricting, narrow, poor-fitting shoes with a tight or pointed
toe box tend to compress the end of the foot, leading to excessive pressure in the
area of the nerve. High-heeled shoes are a particular culprit here.
• Previous trauma to the foot: Those who engage in high-impact activities that bring
repetitive trauma to the foot (running, aerobics, etc.) have a greater chance of
developing a neuroma.