Deborah Meaden health: Dragon Den star in 'permanent pain'- symptoms


The 62-year-old who ran a multimillion-pound family holiday business before she sold her stake, has also made herself a recognisable television figure, with many looking forward to the return of the BBC series Dragon’s Den tonight at 8pm. The star also appeared on popular dancing competition Strictly Come Dancing back in 2013 where she was partnered with former professional dancer on the show Robin Windsor. Meaden’s time on the show is bittersweet as the star tackled a variety of dances including the Tango, Cha-Cha-Cha and Viennese Waltz. However, the star also spoke out about the “permanent pain” she has been in since being eliminated from the show.

Speaking to Closer Magazine, the star said: “I still have permanent pain in the balls of my feet, which is a constant reminder that I did the show.

“It started after I spent 10 hours a day waltzing and I put too much pressure on them.”

The reality show, which is known for its demanding training schedules and infamous ‘Strictly curse’ clearly took its toll on the star, yet luckily for Meaden, health body The Mayo Clinic explains how the condition can often be treated.

The website explains that the condition is characterised by the ball of your foot becoming painful and inflamed. This typically develops after individuals participate in activities that involve running and jumping.

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As well as physical activity, foot deformities and wearing shoes that are too tight or too loose can also be a cause.

Specifically individuals with a particular foot shape such as small curled-up toes (hammer toes) or high arches, may be more likely to suffer from foot pain.

In addition to pain and inflammation, other symptoms that individuals can experience with metatarsalgia can include the following:

  • Sharp, aching or burning pain in the ball of your foot — the part of the sole just behind your toes
  • Pain that worsens when you stand, run, flex your feet or walk — especially barefoot on a hard surface — and improves when you rest
  • Sharp or shooting pain, numbness, or tingling in your toes
  • A feeling of having a pebble in your shoe.

Both the NHS and The Mayo Clinic explain that the condition is not generally serious and pain will usually ease.


In order to aid with easing pain the NHS mainly recommends rest and raising the foot when possible and using an ice pack (or bag of frozen peas) wrapped in a towel to place on the painful area for up to 20 minutes every two to three hours.

Other measures individuals can take in a bid to alleviate pain includes:

  • Wearing wide comfortable shoes with a low heel and soft sole
  • Using soft insoles or pads in shoes
  • A person should try to lose weight if they are overweight
  • Trying regular gentle stretching exercises
  • Taking paracetamol.

However, it should be noted that the NHS warns against taking ibuprofen for the first 48 hours after sustaining an injury, walking or standing for long periods of wearing high heels or tight pointy shoes.

If individuals find that pain continues to be severe, stopping you from doing normal activities or if pain consistently returns, then you should seek medical advice.

WebMD warns that if individuals do not treat metatarsalgia other problems may start to develop, and like Meaden, these problems may last indefinitely.

The website states that individuals are likely to change the way they walk in order to take pressure off the painful spot on your foot. This can also lead to pain elsewhere in your foot, in your other foot, hips or lower back.

As a result individuals are also at risk of developing hammertoe- an abnormal bent in the middle joint of a toe. A condition referred to as mallet toe also affects the joint nearest the toe nail.

Relieving the pain and pressure of both hammer toe and mallet toe involves changing the type of footwear individuals wear, or using shoe inserts to protect shoes rubbing against the raised portion of the toe, minimising the risk of developing corns or calluses.


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