Naturopathic Approach to Metatarsalgia

A Naturopathic Approach to Metatarsalgia

A real pain in the foot! Your metatarsals are the long bones between your ankle and your toes. Usually issues will arise in the “ball” of your foot. Metatarsalgia tends to be a structural issue so naturopathic treatments would focus around minimizing inflammation and pain management.

  • Acupuncture: An effective tool in managing most types of pain, but especially soft tissue pains
    • A treatment would involve using local points on the foot as well as complimentary points that are more specific to your symptom picture.
    • Modulate inflammation: Inflammation is a part of the healing process. The trouble arises when there is too much, or when it continues long after it is needed. Any time there is excess inflammation in the body, this will exacerbate pain.
      • Some causes of excess inflammation can be dietary/ digestive, lack of proper sleep, emotional/ physical stress, an underlying disease and exposure to toxins or chemicals
      • Your naturopath can work with you to determine if any of these are affecting your foot pain
      • Botanical medicine: Inflammation can be local or systemic.
        • Poultices and creams can be applied locally to the foot to help with pain and blood circulation.
          • Commonly used topical applications may include Arnica, Comfrey, Yarrow, Chamomile, Borage and Castor oil to name a few.
          • Essential oils such as Eucalyptus, Camphor and Peppermint are also often present in topical applications to act as ‘counter-irritants’ to decrease pain.
  • There are other herbs that can be taken internally (eaten or drank) to help with pain and inflammation if the cause is more systemic.
  • Homeopathy: Depending on the type of pain, how you describe it and how it affects your day-to-day life, a homeopathic remedy can be a useful tool to help speed healing and reduce pain.
    • Homeopathic Arnica is commonly used often for muscle, bone and joint pain and injury (More on the difference between Homeopathy and Botanical Medicine in future blog posts)
    • Hydrotherapy:  The use of hot and cold applications can help improve circulation to the foot, which aids in healing and decreases pain.
      • This can be done through alternating ice and heat packs and/or hot and cold water.

For naturaopathic treatment of metatarsalgia in Vancouver, please call us at 604-876-9977 or come in to Visit our East Vancouver Wellness Centre.