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Metatarsalgia is a common ailment, and is commonly caused by a number of different factors. However, there are some risks and complications that you should keep in mind. It is also important to know the various treatment options available.

Predisposing factors

Metatarsalgia is a condition that causes pain or inflammation in the ball of the foot. It can occur either locally or more widely throughout the foot. A number of factors contribute to the development of metatarsalgia. Symptoms include burning or aching, a sense of pressure, or a feeling of swelling in the ball of the foot.

People who are overweight are more likely to develop metatarsalgia. In addition, people who wear shoes that are too narrow, too wide, or without adequate support are more at risk. Wearing shoes that are too high can also place extra pressure on the forefoot.

Metatarsalgia is caused by anatomic misalignment, overuse, injury, arthritis, and other conditions. Various surgeries can be performed to realign the metatarsals. There are also conservative methods for treating the condition. These methods involve changing footwear, adding insoles, or retraining the foot to walk in a more efficient way.

Runners are especially at risk for developing metatarsalgia. This is because they use their front part of the foot more than others. While this puts less stress on the rest of the foot, it can cause irritation of the metatarsal heads.

Arthritis of the great toe or the first MTP joint can also lead to metatarsalgia. The inflammation can cause fluid to accumulate around the joint. When this happens, the nerves in the area may be damaged.

Treatment options

In most cases, the best treatment options for metatarsalgia are non-surgical methods. However, a patient may also require surgery if the underlying cause cannot be addressed through conservative measures.

Various surgical procedures can be used to treat metatarsalgia, including reshaping the bones to relieve pressure on nerves. Non-surgical options include anti-inflammatory medications and stretching exercises. These methods can be used to reduce pain and help strengthen surrounding muscles.

Metatarsalgia is often caused by overuse of the feet. People who are involved in high-impact sports, such as running or basketball, are at a greater risk of developing the condition. Running puts constant pressure on the ball of the foot, which can irritate the ligaments, tendons, and cartilage in the area.

Those who are overweight may also develop the condition. Because obesity can put more pressure on the ball of the foot, wearing the right footwear is important. For example, sneakers without arch support can put additional weight on the ball of the foot.

If the symptoms are severe, a doctor can recommend a visit to a foot specialist. An experienced podiatrist can fit a pair of custom orthotics, which can provide arch support. The orthotics can also change the way that the bones distribute pressure. This can improve the patient’s pain and allow for more comfortable walking.


Metatarsalgia is an uncomfortable condition that occurs when you have pain in your ball of your foot. The pain can be caused by injury, arthritis, bursitis, or other conditions. If you experience chronic or acute pain, it is important to seek treatment.

You can try a variety of treatments for metatarsalgia. These include stretching, elevating your feet, resting, icing, and wearing a soft-soled shoe. Using a metatarsal pad can also help alleviate pain.

In severe cases, surgery may be needed. Surgery might be necessary to correct deformities of the bones or realign the bones. Your doctor can also prescribe orthotic inserts to keep your feet in proper alignment.

Metatarsalgia can cause you to change your walking gait. This may make your lower back or hips hurt. So, it’s best to avoid high-impact activities.

Other potential metatarsalgia complications include hammertoes, bunions, and stress fractures. All of these can lead to a lot of discomfort. Changing your walking gait can worsen the problem. It’s best to have a physician diagnose you to find the underlying causes of your pain.

X-rays and imaging tests can be useful in diagnosing the underlying cause of your metatarsalgia. A physician may also perform a blood test and/or do an MRI to diagnose other conditions that could be causing your pain.


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