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Sarah Farris is no stranger to feeling the burn. She hits the gym most days of the week with high-impact, high-intensity workouts. So when she started to notice an aching pain in the balls of her feet, she assumed it was just normal wear and tear.

“When you workout and you’re challenging yourself, it’s hard, and sometimes that hurts. I think because I sort of adjusted to being comfortable with being uncomfortable, I didn’t quite recognize immediately that this was more of like a pain,” she said.

And the pain didn’t stop,”It hurt to stand, it hurt to walk. My feet were really swollen on the balls of my feet and red. I would wake up in the middle of the night and they would hurt.”

Dr. Ari Kaz of the Illinois Bone & Joint Institute diagnosed Sarah Farris with MTP Synovitis. He explains, “It’s inflammation in the joint where the second toe meets the foot called the second metatarsal phalangeal joint. Often times caused by repetitive trauma to the area.”

Cortisone shots have put Sarah on the road to recovery, walking again and incorporating low-impact workouts. And she’s determined to keep progressing, “I don’t like something to defeat me; I have a hard time allowing that.”

Dr. Kaz recommends that we reexamine our expectations of what our bodies are capable of, “If pain doesn’t go away with a reasonable period of rest, then it’s probably reasonable to have somebody look at it. Deformity is also another big red flag. If the toes just don’t look like they used to, then something’s wrong. Oftentimes, also, pain at rest can often indicate to you that something is happening.”