Metatarsalgia is a general term that refers to the pain and inflammation in the metatarsal region of the foot (ball of the foot). Pain is usually worse when standing, jumping, running or wearing high heel shoes. Anyone can suffer from this condition, but it is more present in people who are involved in high impact sports, wear ill-fitting shoes, have other foot problems (hammertoes, flat feet, high arched feet, bunions, etc.) or spend a lot of time standing on hard surfaces (concrete, ceramics, hard wood floors). What are the signs and symptoms?
Pain in the ball of the foot when weight bearing
Sharp, aching pain
Increased pain when walking barefoot or on hard surfaces
Pain worsens when you flex your feet
Treatment Softwave Therapies uses the latest technology, because sometimes advances can help patients overcome pain in a more effective manner than previous approaches were able to. An example of this is extracorporeal acoustic soft shock wave therapy (EASWT). Once you have tried all various treatment options, the EASWT may be your best option for the condition or injury bothering you.
Extracorporeal acoustic soft wave therapy is a noninvasive treatment in which the body’s self-healing ability is activated and enhanced by energy pulses. Damaged and degenerated tissues are repaired and soft tissue pain is relieved during the process. This becomes a viable alternative to surgery if conservative care has been ineffective at delivering results. In this therapy, waves of energy levels are projected to the affected area which are strong enough to deliver mechanical force to inner tissues. This both stimulates metabolism and increases circulation to the targeted area. The oxygen, nutrients and healing factors the body needs to repair damaged tissue are delivered more efficiently. Even better, the energy pulsed and directed at damaged tissues is safe, quick, and painless. The procedure is performed in-office, with generally no side effects, and you can resume normal activities as soon as you leave. At this time, experts are not sure why this process works better for some individuals than others, but patients report an 88% success rate after treatment. There are also some conditions that might exclude a patient from being considered for EASWT, including heart conditions, seizures, pregnancy, and nerve damage. In these cases, we will simply provide other treatment methods. EASWT is performed on an outpatient basis, before we begin we first use a gel that helps with conductivity before properly placing the probe in position. The device delivering the acoustic waves is then carefully calibrated to the right frequency and wavelength for the procedure. Be sure to let us know if where we place the probe is in the actual area where you have been experiencing pain. Afterward, you can walk as normal, but we will recommend reducing your activity level a bit during the first one or two weeks following therapy. This might be inconvenient, but it is much better than the recovery process for invasive surgical procedures.