Metatarsalgia is a general term that refers to the pain and inflammation
in the metatarsal region of the foot (ball of the foot). Pain is usually worse
when standing, jumping, running or wearing high heel shoes.
Anyone can suffer from this condition, but it is more present in
people who are involved in high impact sports, wear ill-fitting shoes, have other foot problems
(hammertoes, flat feet, high arched feet, bunions, etc.) or spend a
lot of time standing on hard surfaces (concrete, ceramics,
hard wood floors).
What are the signs and symptoms?
• Pain in the ball of the foot
when weight bearing
• Sharp, aching pain
• Increased pain when walking
barefoot or on hard surfaces
• Pain worsens when you
flex your feet
Before starting treatment,
a proper assessment by a chiropodist/podiatrist or
family physician is required. A management plan must be tailored to each individual. The goal of the treatment is to address the cause of the problem, reduce pain and inflammation, and to maintain foot function. However, there are many
conditions that could be causing pain in this area, ranging from bone deformity (hammertoes, bunions, sesamoiditis) to interdigital nerve pain, stress fractures, capsulitis, etc. Therefore, treatment will depend on the cause of the problem and may include a combination of rest,
padding and strapping, custom made
orthotics, wearing proper shoes, activity modifications,
low-level laser therapy, cortisone injections, extracorporal shock wave therapy, etc. To prevent future problems and to maintain healthy feet, wear proper shoes and have your feet checked regularly.