Not Really Blisters

I originally thought it was a blister (and I do get blisters) but this time it is not…

What it is? (My diagnosis)

Metatarsalgia causes inflammation and burning pain in the ball of the foot. Symptoms may also include numbness and tingling that gets worse when running.

Yup, it burns when I run and swells.


Most metatarsal problems mainly occur due to the foot impacting hard surfaces while walking or running and poor biomechanics that affect the way weight is distributed in the foot. This can put extra pressure on the metatarsal bones, which leads to inflammation and pain, especially in the metatarsal heads–the rounded ends of the bones that connect with the phalanges (toe bones). Metatarsalgia also can be caused by the following:

  •     Intense training or sudden increase in activity level. (I just ran a half marathon, duh?)
  •     Your foot shape. A high arch can put extra pressure on the metatarsals, which causes more weight than normal to be shifted to the second metatarsal head. (I used to have high arches but my foot has flattened with age.)
  •     Bunions. A swollen, painful bump at the base of the big toe can develop due to hereditary factors or from wearing high heels or shoes that are too small.  A bunion can weaken the big toe, putting extra stress on the ball of the foot. (Although, the one on this foot doesn’t hurt, I do have a bunion which pushes my big toe toward my 2nd toe.)


  • Maintaining a healthy weight prevents undue stress on the feet. (I’m ok here)
  • Shoe inserts reduce the impact to the forefoot and stress on the feet.
  • Properly designed shoes that have toe boxes that are sufficiently wide and high to allow the toes to spread. (My running shoes have a wide toe box)
  • Padded socks with shoes with non-slip outsoles and any inserts or orthotics prescribed or recommended by a doctor. (I have orthotics that I got several years ago after my inflamed achilles but they SQUEAK!)
  • Ice and rest can often relieve metatarsalgia symptoms. (Ok, I’ll try ice)
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen, naproxen or aspirin help reduce pain and inflammation (I can do this too)
  • Avoid sports and other vigorous activities while you recover. (What?!)

So what will I do?

  • wear a Moleskin pad on the bottom of my foot or I may try wearing my orthotics again
  • wear toe spacer between my big toe & 2nd toe
  • wear Experia padded socks
  • ice after running
  • take ibuprofen after running
  • cut back on training runs esp. on hard surfaces
  • see a podiatrist?

Well, I have races scheduled for:

  • May 7 – 5k
  • May 9 – 15k
  • May 10 – 5K
  • May 24 – Half Marathon
  • May 30 – 5k
  • June 13 – Half Marathon
  • June 21 – 10 miler

So you probably think that I am crazy to run them… I do not want to waste money and DNS so yes, I will run them conservatively.

And I will be in Florida May 13-20 playing tennis on clay courts and spending a lot of time on the beach.  Hopefully, this will help to relieve my foot pain.

Fingers crossed.

Happy Running! 



15 thoughts on “Not Really Blisters

  1. Oh no! One of those big donut type pads might help if you get it in just the right spot. My left pinky toe gives me fits. Such a little sucker to cause so much pain. Fingers crossed!


    • I have tried everything. My foot feels better but I’ve been only run/walking and no more than 2 -3 miles. I’m afraid to do more.


  2. Maybe feet in the salt water a lot in FL will help!
    You have a lot of races upcoming. Maybe a small break after June? I have asked my self the question over and over, why can’t more running ever be the answer.


  3. I completely agree (and have had it pinned already) with that someecard. Sorry to hear it’s not as simple as blisters. If the pain continues (and of course you’ll keep running – geez, it’s not like a bone is sticking out or anything!) (LOL), maybe try a pair of Hoka running shoes. They are cushioned like you wouldn’t believe…


  4. awww shoot, injuries are the worst. hope you heal quickly and experience less pain as you’re running your races. i’m dealing with some obnoxious right calf/posterior tib issues yet again — which kept me from running the MH Marathon last fall — so i’m praying this lets up b/c i have a half on May 16. take care of yourself!


  5. I’m terrible about drs, but if you truly think it’s not blisters, I’d advise seeing one – that’s an awful lot of racing in pain, which we know totally sucks. I’m reading a book about recovery & in one part it talks about how if people would see a dr at the first sign of a problem, they can help you get rid of the problem so you can race, rather than just getting through a race.


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