metatarsalgia Foot Pain

8 messages
19/02/2014 at 12:37

Hi Guys

I'm currently training for the London Marathon 2014 on a hard training plan which invloves training twice a day.  I'm aiming for 2 hrs 40mins.  I achieved 2 hrs 52 in 2012.

I train in Asics Cumulus 15 trainers.  I have two pairs.  One pair for the morning run and one pair for the afternoon run to allow the gels to reset.  I have had my gait analysed and I'm a neutral runner.  I'm an old fashioned heel strike runner.

I seem to have developed a pain in the ball of my left foot.  it feels like a small pebble when I walk.  

I have never suffered with a pain like this before.  It does not affect my running but it does flair up after training and general walking.   I have been injury free since October where I overcame a typical calf strain.

I put the new injury down to my high mileage training which is between 70 - 100 miles per week. 

I have recently changed both sets of trainers as I thought this niggle was due to old trainers (300miles).  I usually get IBT flair up though when my trainers have died.

Icing it helps as does anti inflammatory tablets although I'd like to be pill free!  I've had a 24hr rest day on Monday but the pain is still present.

Would it be worth investing in Sorbothane insole's?

Any advice on how I can overcome this?



19/02/2014 at 14:03

Hi Paul, have you had an xray on your foot at all?

19/02/2014 at 14:24

Hi Zippy 

I haven't seen a doctor yet!

19/02/2014 at 19:04
Is the pain localised in one spot or generally across the whole ball of foot area?

I suffer with sesamoiditis. Calf/Achilles/plantar fascia stretching helps me a bit so if you have had previous calf issues may be worth checking you are doing any stretching properly.

Oddly, in the early days I found walking more painful then running but it progressed to everything hurting. The early feeling I had was like a hot spot, then feeling like I had a bony lump that dug in when I walked on it.

I am no professional and think 2:40 is a half marathon time so you should take this all as very much just my tuppence worth on my experience of ball of foot pain.. Personally I wouldn't use pain relief to mask any pain. I would worry that any old insoles might make things worse - I found squashing my foot up exacerbated the pain but perhaps try with your everyday shoes to start with or put in trainers but just to walk around. I would avoid any barefoot walking - I always have slippers or squishy shoes on. I would do lots stretching. I would wait until I knew it was getting no worse before running again. Personally I found cycling and swimming hurt (pointing toes/pushing off in swimming and pedalling wth ball of foot) but I think I was a bit unique in finding that.

I think most cases of metatarsalga recover, but a small word of warning that depite the fact that I was sensible from day 1 of pain I am still struggling nearly two years later. So keep positive, but be sensible.

FWIW my injury shows nothing on X-ray or ultrasound but f it is not improving X-ray might be good to rule out other possibilities.

Oh, and I have had to throw all my high heels away

Good luck.
19/02/2014 at 19:40

Hi Princess Leah

Thanks for the response!

Is the pain localised in one spot or generally across the whole ball of foot area?

Its directly below my second toe.  If I stretch my toe the pain does ease!

I have no problems running on it but walking around especially barefoot does aggravate it!  

I do lot's of stretching and as far as I'm aware all my stretch techniques are correct. I do a lot of calf stretches/raises as I'm prone to the odd calf injury.  I also wear compression socks as these really help my calves!

I've never suffered with this before so It's all new to me!  A calf injury is old hat and I can get over that!

I'll keep icing/stretching it and see how we go!




19/02/2014 at 20:40
Oh and I don't wear flip flops or loose shoes - think the 'crunching' of the toes to hang onto the shoe doesn't help so maybe worth making sure you are only wearing good supportive shoes so your toes aren't gripping?

I stopped doing calf raises as I found it also put pressure on ball of foot, but you may well find that still ok. I don't do lung/squat type exercises for the same reason.

I really hope you get it resolved soon. Would be good to hear how you get on.
21/02/2014 at 10:49

Im with Princess Leah (hahah!!) on this Paul. 

Last year, 4wks before the Paris Mara, I got a metatarsal stress fracture from the Silverstone 1/2, this was discovered by an x-ray the following day, it had been building up with similar sensations to what you have described. I shouldn't have run Paris....but I did! Now, in my build up to VLM, its beginning to plague me a bit! I hope you get sorted, and hope to be running up The Mall with you on April 13th!!

21/02/2014 at 18:50

Hi Zippy 

Good luck with the injury!  

Mine has actually improved since I went onto Votorol 25mg as opposed to ibuprofen.  I'm still icing and stretching the foot.  Iv'e had 2 sessions today totalling 1:30 hrs and have not felt the pebble sensation.

I don't like to subscribe to drugs all the time but sometimes you have to give in!  This reminds me of a groin inflammation I had when I used to play football.  X-ray and MRI scan showed heavy inflammation and I was prescribed ibuprofen and rest.  I did as I was told but the pain remained.  It wasn't until I saw a specialist that he said ibuprofen was not enough and gave me Votorol.  I was playing football again within a week.

I'll let you know how it goes!

And yes I hope to be joining you on The Mall!

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