Metatarsalgia is the medical name for pain in the ball of the foot.

Symptoms, Causes and Common Treatments



The metatarsal area is the region where the toes join the rest of the foot and is a spot often subjected to added pressure because of high heeled shoes, abnormal foot shape, overpronation (excessive inward rolling of the foot) or oversupination (excessive outward rolling of the foot), poorly fitting shoes, diminished fat pads on the ball of the foot, a neuroma (a mass of nerve tissue) or intense training or overuse.


  • Activities that put repeated stress on the ball of the foot (i.e., jogging)
  • Intense training or overuse
  • Ligament injuries and joint irritation
  • Thinning or shifting of foot pads
  • Neuroma, a painful mass of nerve tissue
  • Abnormal foot shape
  • Excessive rolling inward of the foot (over-pronation)
  • Excessive rolling outward of the foot (over-supination)
  • Calluses or skin lesions that affect weight distribution
  • Improperly fitted shoes
  • Shoes that are too small
  • High heels

Common Treatments

  • Taking anti-inflammatory medications can help reduce Metatarsalgia pain
  • Adding ball-of-foot cushions to your shoes can reduce shock to the ball of the foot and provide cushioning to feet that have thinning fat pads
  • Metatarsal pads can take pressure off very specific spots on the ball of the foot

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Foot Solutions Products

  • Supportive athletic, casual or dress shoes
  • Off-the-shelf arch supports
  • Custom-fitted, custom-crafted arch supports
  • Metatarsal inserts and/or pads
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