What is Metatarsalgia? Because I have it!

"You don't have a stress fracture!" Amazing words that came out of the podiatrist's mouth on Monday.

Phew! Now I can wipe that bead of sweat off my brow.

But's let back it up to the beginning of this saga.


On September 22, I went out for a 15-mile run with my dad around the Charles River. We were cruising along - me running, him on his bike - until Mile 10.5. INTENSE pain in the ball of my foot. A searing pain that I had never felt before. Okay okay. I pushed through to hit the 11-mile mark. Darn my OCD and ending on a whole mileage. ;)

Since that moment, my Dopey Challenge training has taken a hit. I basically scaled my running back as far as I could while still completing the race commitments I had in place. This basically meant running on the weekends and that is it.

The foot wasn't feeling any better by the beginning of November so I knew I would have to DNS (Did Not Start) the Miles Standish Marathon, which I had planned to run on November 17th. The longest run I completed between September 22 and that date was 13.1. I would've made it through the marathon, but there was no reason to push my foot through the race. Since technically it was supposed to be a training run for the Dopey Challenge.

Finally I made an appointment to see the doctor on November 12th. For anyone that follows this blog, you know that I went to that doctor's appointment and THIS happened.

I'll wait a moment while you all catch up.

All set?


So the doctor told me I probably had metatarsalgia (which I will explain momentarily), but she wanted to get me in with a podiatrist to be sure.

On November 18th, I met with the podiatrist, had x-rays of both feet and had it confirmed that I did in fact have metatarsalgia.

Metatarsalgia is a general term used to denote a painful foot condition in the metatarsal region of the foot (the area just before the toes, more commonly referred to as the ball-of-the-foot). This is a common foot disorder that can affect the bones and joints at the ball-of-the-foot. Metatarsalgia (ball-of-foot-pain) is often located under the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th metatarsal heads, or more isolated at the first metatarsal head (near the big toe).

So how does one get so lucky to acquire this foot disorder?


Yup, my love foiled me. ;) Okay, really it is just overuse and excessive pressure in the ball-of-foot area.

The podiatrist confirmed that this had NOTHING TO DO WITH WEIGHT. Unlike what the previous doctor had told me. Ha! I did a little internal fist pump when he said that. Little things in life friends.

I quickly rattled off question after question to him: "Is my ankle pain related to that?" "Does having multiple pairs of running shoes affect this at all?" "Can I ramp my running back up?" "What happens if the pain doesn't go away?" "How do I stop the swelling in my right foot?"

And he calmly answered all of them.

The x-rays showed that there wasn't a stress fracture, but he noted that if the pain doesn't lessen in the next week he wants to get an MRI in case there was a stress fracture that has healed over time.

But in the meantime, I am rocking this lovely "metatarsal pad," which is designed to relieve ball-of-foot pain. The pad is placed behind the ball-of-the-foot to relieve pressure and redistribute weight from the painful area to more tolerant areas.

photo (4)

Isn't it sexy? ;)

My goal for this week: play around with the placement of the little metatarsal pad and find the sweet spot. I took it out for a try tonight on my run and I had to stop a couple of times to readjust. I am going to listen to my body and if it isn't better by Monday, I will call the doctor back and schedule an MRI.

I have TOO many goals to reach in 2014 to let this foot pain continue to cramp my style.

But for now, back to Resting Ice Compressing Elevating.


Do you or anyone you know have metatarsalgia?