Metatarsalgia: Diagnosis, Treatment & More

Metatarsalgia is an inflammation in the ball of your foot that causes pain, making it difficult to walk or stand. The ball of your foot is the area between your arch and your toes. Metatarsalgia is named for the five metatarsal bones in the midsection of your feet that connect to your toes.

Some major causes of metatarsalgia include overuse injuries in sports that involve running and jumping. It can also be due to wearing tight shoes, foot abnormalities, or arthritis and other diseases.

Symptoms of metatarsalgia

The pain of metatarsalgia usually begins gradually over time. It may go down when you rest your foot and worsen when you walk, stand, or exercise. You may have metatarsalgia if you feel like:

  • You have a sharp burning or shooting pain in the ball of your foot
  • You are walking with pebbles in your shoe
  • A tingling sensation in your toes
  • Your toes are numb

You may also observe your pain worsening when you stand, run, walk barefoot, or participate in a high-impact sports activity