How Long Does It Take to Recover from Metatarsalgia?

Metatarsalgia pain can disrupt your daily routine, not to mention any planned physical activities or workouts! If you’re dealing with irritated and inflamed metatarsals, you probably wonder how long it takes to recover from metatarsalgia? 

The road to recovery can be different for everyone, even if you own one of the best running shoes for metatarsalgia pain. However, the time it takes to revolver from metatarsalgia depends on the severity of your condition.


How Long Does It Take to Recover from Metatarsalgia?

Metatarsalgia is a condition in which the five bones of your feet, running from your toes to the ball of your foot, become inflamed. This inflammation triggers pain and discomfort. Many sufferers describe the feeling as akin to having a pebble in their shoes. Therefore, it’s easy to see why severe metatarsalgia can knock you off your feet for hours, days, or even weeks!

Metatarsalgia pain can be caused by improper footwear and strenuous activity. Treating it depends on its severity. Suppose you’re suffering from metatarsalgia pain from wearing high heels. Alternatively, if the issue was brought on by overuse, you have time to heal.

Stages and Severity Levels of Metatarsalgia

It’s important to note that any level of pain or suspected metatarsalgia warrants a trip to your doctor. They’ll be able to assess the injury and accurately recommend the best treatment plan. However, the guide below can help you determine how long you can expect to be on the road to recovery.

1.  Acute Metatarsalgia

Usually, acute metatarsalgia is caused by wearing unsupportive footwear. Fashion shoes like high heels and work boots are good examples as they have little support and may squish the feet. Occasionally, acute metatarsalgia can also be caused by running on sand or running barefoot on pavement.

This is the least severe form of the condition. Typically, removing the offending footwear or ceasing the activity provides relief. By staying off your feet for a few hours or slipping into comfy shoes, you should see a decrease in inflammation and pain.

2.  Mild Metatarsalgia

Mild metatarsalgia is persistent pain that lasts even when you stop the activity and remove improper footwear. It can result from increasing your workout intensity or length too quickly, going barefoot for long periods, or exposing your feet to high impact. Pain from mild metatarsalgia can last days and doesn’t quickly get better when you stop the activity or remove your shoes.

The good news is that medical intervention usually isn’t required. Rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medication, and proper shoes or orthotics can often decrease the discomfort within a few days to a week.

3.  Severe Metatarsalgia

Severe metatarsalgia is accompanied by stress fractures. Failure to quickly and adequately treat metatarsalgia or certain health conditions can cause it. The exception is an acute injury that fractures the metatarsals.

In some cases, the fractures can heal with lots of rest. Generally, it takes at least eight weeks, and your doctor may recommend wearing an orthotic device like a boot. If the fractures are displaced, meaning the bones are not aligned, you might require surgery.

There are various types of surgery, from minimally invasive to placing a screw or pin in the foot. Regardless of the type of surgery, eight weeks is the minimum amount of time before you can engage in weight-bearing activities. High impact activities, like running, usually aren’t recommended or should be done with extreme caution.

What Happens If I Don’t Treat Metatarsalgia?

However, failing to treat metatarsalgia, no matter how mild, could cause problems in the future. Surgery is always a last resort but could be recommended if you continue doing the activities that cause metatarsalgia pain and end up with a stress fracture.

Written by Mark

Having researched and advised on hundreds of footwear products, I'm confident you'll find my articles insightful to the most common questions that's currently being asked online.

May 21, 2022

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