The Injury Zone: Metatarsal Pads

Posted by Dennis Mundt on

This week in the Injury Zone, we'll talk about a simple, low-cost solution for people who have a specific type of forefoot pain.

Metatarsal pads have been around for a long time and are primarily used by runners who are suffering from Morton's neuroma.

Many people use metatarsal pads for cushioning and to prevent blisters, and I've also seen runners have metatarsal pads built into their custom orthotics to help them relieve pain.

Morton's neuroma occurs when one of the nerves in the plantar aspect of your foot becomes pinched between the forefoot bones.

When attempting to push off the foot, the irritation to the nerve from the pressure of the bones causes pain, as well as tingling/numbness in the surrounding areas.

The most common location for this is between your second and third toes, but it can also happen in other places.

When it comes to morton's neuroma treatment, many healthcare professionals recommend metatarsal pads first.

The runner's ability to tolerate the pad will be determined by how irritated the nerve is. The location of the metatarsal pad in your shoe is also critical, as misplacing the pad can actually contribute to further irritation.

Make sure the pad is proximal to the metatarsal head when placing it under your foot for optimal pressure reduction. Metatarsal pads come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and price ranges, and they can be a very effective method of managing morton's neuroma.

If you know someone who is suffering from pain similar to what we've discussed, now is your chance to give them a thoughtful holiday present!

I hope everyone out there running in the cold stays safe!

Russ Manalastas is the clinical director of Lattimore of Spencerport Physical Therapy and a licensed physical therapist.

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