Metatarsalgia - any hope for an oldie?

I'm 59 and have only been running a couple of years. I've completed several half marathons reasonably comfortably. Until recently I was training for Brighton  marathon but about 5 weeks ago I started getting very sore soles, particularly in my right foot. I tried to run through it but of course that resulted in a sore knee because I was subconciously running awkwardly to compensate for the pain. I've not run at all for three and a half weeks now but the pain in my sole is still pretty intense and it is still quite swollen.

I've been icing it regularly, I've been wearing gel insoles all the time and did for a while take Ibuprofine but with no improvement. My physio says there is nothing he can do and told me to go to my doctor.

He diagnosed metatarsalgia and said there was nothing he can do. He says that the sole of the foot should be concave so thay the middle of your sole does not take too much punishment on impact. However he says that after the age of 50 or so there is a tendency for the sole to give up the ghost and become convex as has happened to me, meaning the centre takes all the hits resulting in the problems I am experiencing.  

He said that with a long break and a metatarsal arch support I might just get back to a bit of light jogging, but my running days might be pretty much over!

Disaster!! Any advice at all, and any reassurance from anybody my sort of age who has beaten this? 





  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭

    You become more flat-footed with age, certainly.  This probably means you need more cushioning or motion control features in your shoes.  Metatarsalgia is a medical condition which should clear up I would have thought.  It is inflammation in the metatarsal heads - something likely to happen if you are a forefoot striker (or if you wear high heels which is probably unlikely!)  Also if you're overweight, or you have an inflexible achilles tendon.



    You could try getting some gait analysis especially if linked with getting  a better pair of shoes, to look at your footstrike cycle. Try to get some advice, e.g. perhaps you need to heelstrike a bit more?  Lose some lbs if you need to and stretch out your ankles/calves on a regular basis.

    Alternatively that diagnosis might be inaccurate - get a second opinion from e.g. a sports injury therapist.

    You'll soon be back to your usual running, I'm sure.

  • Hi T Rex,

    I don't need to lose any weight and you're right in assuming I don't wear high heels. However you may be right about an inflexible achilles. I did have an achilles problem in the right leg before Christmas. I did get the okay from my physio to recommence running after that but I think I pushed too hard and tried to come straight back to 12 mile runs without much of a build up. 

    I will get my gait checked and see what can be done. Tunbridge Wells half, only a couple of weeks away is a dead duck and I guess Brighton is looking pretty unlikely. I think I'll have to take it slowly, wait as long as it takes for the injury to clear up and then gradually start again from scratch.

    Thanks for your advice.


Sign In or Register to comment.