MD Podiatrist Discusses Prevention of Metatarsal Stress Injuries

Because they take much of the impact on foot strike, the metatarsals can easily become strained, inflamed, or fractured. “The symptoms of a metatarsal stress injury can vary depending on the severity of the injury,” says Dan Michaels, DPM, but a stress injury is usually evident by increasing pain on movement, “particularly during walking, running, or jumping.” Other symptoms include: swelling of the metatarsals or tenderness to the touch, tingling, or numbness (also felt in the toes) and red or bruised skin in the affected area.

Strengthening the glutes, quadriceps, calves, as well as improving your core stability, will aid prevention. You should also focus on strengthening the toe flexors, plantar fasica, and peroneus muscles in the lower leg (the fibularis longus and fibularis brevis), which will help to protect the metatarsals.