Metatarsalgia is a term used describe pain in the ball of the foot.

Symptoms of metatarsalgia may include:

  • Sharp, aching or burning pain in the ball of the foot
  • Pain in the area around your second, third or fourth toes — or, only near your big toe
  • Pain that gets worse when you stand, walk or run and improves when you rest
  • Sharp or shooting pain in your toes
  • Numbness or tingling in your toes
  • Pain that worsens when you flex your feet
  • A feeling in your feet as if you’re walking with a pebble in your shoe
  • Increased pain when you’re walking barefoot, especially on a hard surface

To effectively treat metatarsalgia, it is important that the podiatrist undertake a thorough examination and may utilise medical imaging (x-ray, ultrasound and in some cases MRI) to pinpoint the cause of pain.

Pain is also often contributed to by abnormal biomechanics.

Treatments are varied according to the underlying cause of pain and can include:

  • orthotics
  • pressure off loading devices
  • dry needling
  • prolotherapy
  • physical therapy
  • footwear modfications