A generalized term to describe pain in the ball of the foot. The pain usually centers on one or more of the five bones (metatarsals) forming the ball of the foot. Metatarsalgia can is usually located to the central metatarsals and most commonly the 2nd metatarsal.
Metatarsalgia occurs when one of the metatarsal joints becomes painful or inflamed. People often develop a callus under the affected joint. Metatarsalgia also can be caused by arthritis, foot injury (from sports, a car accident, or repeated stress), hard surfaces (cement or tile floors), and specific footwear (rigid-soled work boots).
Metatarsalgia may be the first symptoms of impending future issues involving abnormal foot architecture, such as (stress fracture or toe dislocation). An x-ray of the foot is critical in evaluating metatarsalia. The length pattern of the metatarsals can reveal abnormal length patterns which are highly variable in feet. Proper treatment can prevent or limit further injury.
A simple change of shoes may solve the problem. In more severe cases, Custom Orthotics may be prescribed to alleviate the pain and off load the affected area of pressure.