Managing a Stone Bruise

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"Exercise itself, which tends to be highly repetitive when engaged in regularly, is a major driver of neuroplastic changes in the brain, which is why physical exercise is one of the most important factors in restoring and maintaining mental as well as physical health across the life span, starting from the moment one begins such a program." - Bob Stahl, A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook 

Metatarsalgia is the scientific name for what the lay man knows as a “Stone Bruise”. Caused by a swelling of the metatarsal head, that is located at the base of the feet, the ailment is quite painful to the patient. With a stone bruise, there is usually tenderness. The area doesn’t look like a typical bruise, because there is often no discoloration in the affected regions of the feet. The ball of the feet will be sensitive to any activity of the feet. 

What Are the Causes of A Stone Bruise? 

When an individual applies impact to the foot via a sudden change or heavy impact to the feet, a stone bruise can be induced. The impact can be induced by having the feet suddenly impact a hard surface such as the ground, concrete or a tiled area during physical activity. Running and jumping on hard surfaces is the key cause of a Stone Bruise. Additionally, if you’re affected by the following: 

  1. Being over-weight or suffering from obesity: This condition will impact your gait, and with a heavier body, it is possible to impact the ground harder than if your weight was as your body was designed. 

  2. Stress Fractures 

  3. Age: With maturity, the bones can weaken if appropriate nutritional changes aren’t made. Impacts to the feet can result in injury much more easily. 

  4. Pre-existing medical conditions such as bunions, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and Morton’s neuroma can induce a stone bruise. 

What are the Symptoms of a Stone Bruise? 

The initial symptoms of a Stone Bruise are the indications that the ball of the foot is tender. When a patient goes through the process of flexing the toes and feels pain in the capsule and soft tissue at the base of the joint, it is possible that you have a Stone Bruise. Consult with your orthopaedic surgeon in order to confirm your condition. If you’re prone to a structural problem in your feet, the odds of a Stone Bruise are highly increased. 

When you consult with your doctor, ensure that these factors are identified as the consultation is taking place. Your treatment will be heavily dependent on your body’s design. 

What Are The Treatments for a Stone Bruise? 

Stone Bruises are readily treatable either at home, or via the help of your foot and ankle specialist. The condition, is painfully, but on a severity scale they are considered minor conditions. With the pain ranging from mild to severe, and with associated tingling, there is the possibility of allowing the feet to naturally heal. The first few action steps that you can take include:

  1. Limiting activity on the affected foot. Rest is critical to the healing of your feet. When you have bruises that develop, it best to keep the foot elevated or with minimal weight on the leg, so that the healing process can be facilitated. 

  2. Application of anti-inflammatory tools. These can include application of ice to the area, to soothe the area. Coupled with an anti-inflammatory treatment, ice will facilitate the healing of the sensitive, enflamed area. 

  3. Cushioning the area, with a metatarsal pad is also useful in the healing of your Stone Bruise. If you’re an athlete, in your shoes, you can place insoles that will heal the area. 

Watch your condition, and with time, you can heal yourself. If your condition isn’t improving, ensure that you consult with your orthopaedic surgeon. 

Reference Article: 

  1. What is a Stone Bruise: https://www.joionline.net/trending/content/what-stone-bruise

  2. What is a Stone Bruise: http://www.aapsm.org/stone-bruise.html

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