Regular exercise and physical activity have their benefits, but sometimes they come with risks such as injuries. No matter how careful you are, accidents are likely to happen along the way, which can serve as a learning experience. However, your body does not need to endure such beating just so you can understand the risks your sports activity entails.
Among the most common problems that runners, athletes, and health gurus need to deal with is avoiding metatarsal injuries before they drastically affect their career development. Whether you're currently engaging in a sport or not, this injury can happen to anyone. With that, this article will delve into the medical definition, instructional use, and importance of owning metatarsal pads.
What Are the Metatarsals
Medical experts define metatarsals or metatarsus as the collection of five bones found in your foot. They stretch outwards, and our toes are attached to their “tips.” These bones are clustered and located between the tarsal bones, found in the hind- and midfoot, and the toe phalanges.
Because the metatarsal bones do not have names, they are given numbers in the medical field. Counting from the great toe, each metatarsal bone is called first, second, third, fourth, and fifth. The counterpart of the metatarsal bones is the metacarpal bones in your hands.
How Sports Affect the Metatarsals
In a cohort study conducted in a hospital fracture clinic, researchers coded 18 months of data on metatarsal fractures among athletes, starting from their presentation. They looked into the demographics, types of fractures, related sports, and treatments and found that 791 patients had metatarsal fractures in the past 18 months. Among these patients, 74 had sports-induced metatarsal fractures.
The researchers conducted the study because little is written about metatarsal fractures among athletes. In the conclusion, they recommended undertaking a more detailed study, following the number of high-profile injuries they saw in the patients that could indicate a rising incidence of metatarsal fractures.
Among the measures that can counter the increasing cases of metatarsal fractures is using protective equipment conducive to sports, fitness hobbies, and other day-to-day activities (e.g., walking, stepping).
Another option is to wear metatarsal pads. In the next section, we will explain how they significantly reduce metatarsal fractures and why you should incorporate wearing them into your daily routine.
Why Athletes Love Metatarsal Pads for Running
While you can buy casts and bandages from the nearest drugstore, metatarsal pads for runners are cheap and preventive alternatives. If you’re tight on budget, this is something that you should consider.
Let’s first define metatarsal pads. What is it for? The purpose of metatarsal pads is to ease the pain on a person's forefoot. Although they can cushion, heal, and prevent the severity of blisters, they also have other treatment purposes, such as relieving pains caused by a condition called Morton's neuroma.
With technological advancements, you will now see metatarsal pads integrated into orthotics, movement support systems, and even modern-day apparel. The fashion industry believes that everyone deserves comfort in their feet and toes, which is why we now have metatarsal pads for running shoes.
It may surprise you, but these are not the only reasons you should want a metatarsal pad. If you're curious about why athletes love this product, continue reading this article because we’ve prepared three key points!
#1: Medical-Grade Effectiveness
People may experience pressure, nerve pinchings, and numbness in their toes and feet. For these reasons, healthcare professionals suggest managing foot discomfort with metatarsal pads to avoid stressing the affected areas.
Foot conditions require varying levels of treatment and care practices because people have different lifestyles and recuperation periods. However, to make the most out of your metatarsal pads, first check with a medical professional how irritated your foot nerves are. This step is crucial because it will determine how well you can tolerate a metatarsal pad.
Afterward, locate where to place the metatarsal pad inside your shoe. Keep in mind that the wrong pad placement will worsen nerve irritation.
For proper placement of the metatarsal pad, start by feeling out where the metatarsal head (the ball of your foot) will be inside your shoes. Then, align the metatarsal pad proximal to that area. A precise attachment will result in optimum pressure reduction, which will speed up your foot’s healing.
You can find the best metatarsal pads for running anywhere near you for a price range of 10 to 20 USD. There are various shapes, sizes, and textures, so carefully examine the products to distinguish which one will work best for you.
Need a bit more information on why you should purchase and use metatarsal pads? Then, continue reading to learn about the product features, effectiveness, and step-by-step use.
#2: Enticing Product Features
One thing you need to consider before making a purchase is finding a set of premium-quality metatarsal pads. These depend on three features of metatarsal pads that make them unique and highly sought after.
- Toe attachment capacity: Metatarsal foot pads are secure and will not slip out or slide loose whether you’re at rest or moving. It is also durable and water-resistant when in contact with perspiration.
- Silicone construction: It is adjustable and flexible and will fit any foot shape or size. The silicone material covers your foot with a perfect fit and padded protection as if you’re wearing socks.
- Cushioning effect: When doing gross motor movements, the metatarsal pads will evenly distribute the pressure exerted toward your feet. You can attach them to an insole shock-absorbent sheet to minimize the impact of every footstep on the ball of your feet.
- Reusable quality: Regardless of the time, weather, and occasion, you can wear these pads without ruining your outfit of the day. You may want to look into foot and beauty care shops that offer metatarsal pads for a specific kind of shoes.
#3: Easy to Use
Metatarsal pads are undeniably helpful because they redirect the uneven pressure distribution beneath or around your feet. They are usually designed like a pillow containing gel to satisfy their function, spreading out your weight and correcting your foot placement. As a result, your soles and the nerves on your metatarsal bones can recuperate from damage.
Given all these details, how do you wear a metatarsal pad? Below are three easy steps.
Step #1: Choose your preferred metatarsal footpads. You’ll want to be particular when it comes to how it looks, how comfortable it is when worn, and how much a pair would cost you.
Step #2: Remove the plastic wrapper or seal from your pads, and separate the cushions based on their corresponding foot area. “L” refers to your left foot, while “R” stands for your right foot.
Step #3: Position the metatarsal loop over your second toe and ensure that the cushioned side touches the ball of your foot. Afterward, you can put on your favorite pair of rubber shoes and run without limits!
All these reasons are what make athletes love metatarsal pads for running. They are comfortable and made to care for your feet.
What do you like best about metatarsal foot pads? Let us know your thoughts by sharing them in the comment section below! We would love to hear from you!