Metatarsalgia (Forefoot / Ball of Foot Pain )
The metatarsal bones are the bones that make up the ball of the feet. In this same region is an arch of the foot called the metatarsal arch. Metatarsalgia refers to pain in the ball of the foot anywhere from the first through the 4th metatarsals. The pain is usually located right over the metatarsal that is inflamed. Cause Metatarsalgia occurs because there is excessive pressure occurring on the foot from external forces. These excessive forces are from: • wearing very high heels • athletic activities without proper shoe or orthotic support for arches and rest of foot • too much athletic activity • shoes that are too narrow • shoes that don’t fit properly • repeated cortisone injections that caused the depletion of the fat pads in the foot Treatment & Prevention Determining what is the root cause of the pain is the first step in treatment. Adding properly fitted orthotic insoles, cushioned insoles, or metatarsal pads may be the best solution. Shoes that are wide enough for the foot allows the foot to relax a little from the stress it is feeling and start to recover.