Foot capsulitis is a type of metatarsalgia in which the joint capsule of the metatarsal bones is inflamed.
Although it is more prevalent in the shoulder, knee, or elbow, it is probable that it might also happen in the foot.
Let’s look at what causes foot capsulitis, how to cure it, and what symptoms it triggers.
Symptoms of foot capsulitis
While we are all too familiar with the problems that capsulitis in the shoulder may cause, its plantar equivalent can be just as bad.
The following symptoms are commonly associated with capsulitis in the foot:
- A burning sensation under the toes in the front area of the foot;
- Numbness in the forefoot;
- A feeling of a lump under the forefoot;
- Putting weight on the front half of the foot becomes difficult;
- Pain in the phalanges (toes);
The symptoms indicated above should be closely monitored since if not addressed promptly, they can lead to serious problems.
These problems can be:
- A much longer recovery time, up to several years;
- Deformities of the foot, such as hammertoes;
- A change in overall posture and subsequent joint pain.
What causes a foot capsulitis?
Severe blood flow and the formation of scar tissue in the fibrous membrane that covers the joints cause capsulitis of the foot.
This form of metatarsalgia can be influenced by a number of things.
These could include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Remaining in a standing position for long periods of time;
- A pre-existing deformity of the arch of the foot such as cavus foot or flat foot;
- Excessive and prolonged physical exertion that puts a lot of stress on the feet;
- Wearing shoes that are not designed for the shape of the feet;
- An acquired deformity of the foot or toes such as the bunion;
- A long walk on the foot;
- A complication stemming from diabetes (diabetic foot);
- Prolonged immobilization of the foot after surgery or a cast;
As you can see, there are many different causes of foot capsulitis.
Therefore, it’s critical to consult a doctor or podiatrist as soon as possible to figure out what’s causing the discomfort.
Preventing foot capsulitis
Foot capsulitis causes discomfort, pain, and motor restrictions, all of which can well be avoided.
Preventive strategies, when properly implemented, can assist to delay the onset of plantar capsulitis.
Here are a few examples of these measures:
- Wear shoes that are tailored to your foot’s shape.
- Avoid standing in a static position for long periods of time.
- Choose shoes with decent forefoot cushioning and avoid wearing high heels as much as possible.
- Maintain a healthy body mass index (BMI).
- Running workouts should be kept to a minimum in terms of duration and intensity.
- Make use of effective training methods.
- Encourage hobbies like swimming or cycling that don’t put too much strain on the feet.
Even with all of these precautions, detecting capsulitis in the foot in time is not always possible.
It’s best to see a podiatrist if you’re experiencing significant discomfort or unexpected functional limitations.
Treatment for foot capsulitis in a podiatry clinic
Before the podiatrist can recommend a medical treatment that is tailored to the problem, they must first ensure that they understand all of the symptoms and characteristics of the ailment.
They normally perform a number of tests to do this:
- A biomechanical exam is done to locate the problematic location and analyze the foot and ankle’s mobility.
- A digital x-ray of the foot then provides a comprehensive view of the bones and joints and aids in the detection of anomalies;
- An ultrasound scan of the foot can identify damage to soft tissues such as tendons, ligaments and the joint capsule.
The podiatrist can establish and administer a suitable treatment strategy after determining the presence of capsulitis in the foot and ruling out other probable disorders.
They may then recommend treatments like:
- A prescription for custom-made foot orthoses to correct imbalances and restore posture;
- The ultrasound-guided injection of cortisone directly into the painful area;
- The prescription of anti-inflammatory medications;
- Manual foot therapy, which helps restore mobility to the toes and forefoot;
- Therapeutic laser;
- ShockWave therapy;
- The application of therapeutic taping;
- Ultrasound therapy;
- Removal of troublesome corns and calluses, if necessary;
- The use of splints or relief shoes;
- The use of orthopedic shoes;
- Establishing a stretching routine.
Naturally, the podiatrist will do everything possible to give treatments that are both successful and minimally invasive.
If the capsulitis in the foot does not respond to non-surgical treatment, they may consider surgery.
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