You'll probably first see your family doctor or general practitioner. However, he or she may refer you to a bone specialist (orthopedist) or a foot specialist (podiatrist).
Because appointments can be brief, it's a good idea to be well prepared for your visit. Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
Before your appointment:
- Make a list of the symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to your foot pain.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
For metatarsalgia, some basic questions you might want to ask your doctor include:
- What's causing my symptoms?
- Do I need any tests?
- Is my condition likely temporary or chronic?
- What treatment do you recommend?
- What are the alternatives to the primary approach that you're suggesting?
- How long will it be before I start feeling better?
- Are there any activity restrictions that I need to follow?
- Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? What websites do you recommend visiting?
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions as well. Some questions your doctor may ask include:
- When did you first begin experiencing symptoms?
- Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
What you can do in the meantime
While you're waiting to see your doctor, rest your foot as much as possible and wear properly fitting shoes. If your pain is severe, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Aleve) or aspirin may help ease your discomfort.
Jan. 25, 2011
- Maguire S. Metatarsalgia. In: Frontera WR, et al. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Musculoskeletal Disorders, Pain, and Rehabilitation. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1678/0.html. Accessed Dec. 9, 2010.
- Metatarsalgia. The American College of Foot & Ankle Orthopedics & Medicine. http://www.acfaom.org/metatarsalgia.shtml. Accessed Dec. 9, 2010.
- Bunions. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00155. Accessed Dec. 9, 2010.
- Morton's neuroma. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00158. Accessed Dec. 9, 2010.
- Mann JA, et al. Foot & ankle surgery. In: Skinner HB. Current Diagnosis & Treatment in Orthopedics. 4th ed. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Medical; 2006. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=2321820. Accessed Dec. 9, 2010.
- Callahan LR, et al. Overview of running injuries of the lower extremity. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Dec. 9, 2010.