Metatarsalgia Is a Pain in the Foot

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Metatarsalgia is the word that foot doctors use to refer to pain in the ball of the foot. It can be caused by a range of conditions and is treated in a variety of ways.

The area most commonly affected by metatarsalgia is the part of the bottom of your foot that is between the arch and the toes. There are five bones just under the toes – the metatarsals – that are typically involved. The primary symptom of this condition is pain in the affected area. This may be sharp, stabbing, or burning, and it may get worse when you stand, walk, or run. Metatarsalgia pain is sometimes accompanied by:

  • bruising

  • swelling

  • numbness or tingling in the toes

  • a sensation like there’s a pebble in your shoe


Some people are more likely to develop metatarsalgia than others. Because high heels and ill-fitting shoes are a contributing factor, women are at risk, as are people with high arches which put extra pressure on the metatarsals. People whose second toe is long than their big toe are also at increased risk because of the way that this atypical anatomy distributes weight. People with hammertoes and/or bunions may develop metatarsalgia as a side effect of these conditions.

If you notice symptoms of metatarsalgia developing, you should be seen by a board-certified foot doctor as soon as possible. Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent limping and referred pain in the hips and spine from occurring.

After diagnosis, your podiatrist will have numerous options available to treat your metatarsalgia, including:

  • RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation)

  • Over-the-counter and prescription pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory medication

  • Custom orthotics to provide cushioning and support

If you are worried about metatarsalgia or if you have any other concerns about the health and well-being of your feet, ankles, and lower legs, you should be seen by a podiatrist as soon as possible. With years of specialized training and experience, a doctor like Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova is the best-qualified medical professional to care for your feet, ankles, and lower legs. Schedule a convenient appointment in Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care’s comfortable Pikesville office today. Call our friendly staff at 443-872-7052 or click here  to get started.