Metatarsalgia

Overview

The ball of your foot absorbs a lot of stress when you run and jump. It can become injured and sore. We call this pain “metatarsalgia.” The pain can keep you from exercising and from playing sports. And it can be a problem for active people.

Causes

Metatarsalgia is often caused by overuse. But other things can cause it, too. It can happen because you are overweight or because your shoes don’t fit well. It can develop because of the shape of your feet. And it can develop because you have a foot deformity or other problem, such as an Achilles tendon that is too tight.

Symptoms

If you have this condition, the ball of your foot hurts. The pain may feel sharp. It may burn or ache. It may feel like you are standing on a pebble. You may have pain, numbness or tingling in your toes. Your pain will get worse when you are active, and better when you rest.

Treatment

Metatarsalgia pain can be treated with rest, ice and medications. Shoes that fit well may help. Shoe inserts can help, too. If these aren’t helpful, you may need surgery to correct a problem with your foot.

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