You may experience metatarsalgia if you participate in activities that involve running and jumping. Excess pressure on your forefoot can cause pain and inflammation in your metatarsals — the long bones in the front of your feet, just below your toes. While you're waiting to see your doctor, rest your foot as much as possible and wear properly fitting shoes. In rare cases, when conservative measures don't relieve your pain and your metatarsalgia is complicated by foot conditions such as hammertoe, surgery to realign the metatarsal bones may be an option. Sometimes these symptoms develop suddenly — especially if you've recently increased your usual amount of running, jumping or other high-impact exercise — but problems usually develop over time.
Plantar FasciitisExperienced as heel pain when you take your first steps after getting out of bed or after sitting for a long period of time, plantar fasciitis is a running injury most frequently caused by an abnormal motion of the foot or too-tight calf muscles. Runners are at risk of metatarsalgia, primarily because the front of your foot absorbs significant force when you run.
Because most of your body weight transfers to your forefoot when you move, extra pounds mean more pressure on your metatarsals.
High heels, which transfer extra weight to the front of your foot, are a common cause of metatarsalgia in women. Small breaks in the metatarsals or toe bones can be painful and change the way you put weight on your foot. Metatarsalgia is more likely to occur if you're a runner or you participate in sports that involve running or jumping, such as soccer, tennis, baseball, football or basketball.


High heels transfer extra weight onto the front of your foot, and shoes that are too tight can compress your toes. However, he or she may refer you to a bone specialist (orthopedist) or a foot specialist (podiatrist). If your pain is severe, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), naproxen sodium (Aleve) or aspirin may help ease your discomfort. To help pinpoint the source of your pain, your doctor will examine your foot and ask about your lifestyle and activity level. Try ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), naproxen sodium (Aleve) or aspirin to reduce pain and inflammation. Your doctor may recommend a shoe that's especially suited for your foot type, your stride and your particular sport. These off-the-shelf pads are placed in your shoes just ahead of the metatarsal bone to help deflect stress away from the painful area. If insoles don't help, your doctor may recommend arch supports to minimize stress on the metatarsal bones and improve foot function.
Wearing high heels or too-small shoes can set the stage for a host of foot problems, including metatarsalgia. These products can help prevent the pain of metatarsalgia — as well as relieve the pain when it develops.
You may experience metatarsalgia if you're physically active and you participate in activities that involve running and jumping.


This is a common running injury that typically occurs from abnormal foot stroke in push off and too-tight calf muscles.
Proper footwear with shock-absorbing insoles or arch supports may be all you need to prevent or minimize future problems with metatarsalgia.
Hammertoe, when one of your toes curls downward, and bunions, swollen, painful bumps at the base of your big toes, can result in metatarsalgia. And proper footwear, along with shock-absorbing insoles or arch supports, may be all you need to prevent or minimize future problems with metatarsalgia. Talk to your doctor if you experience a burning pain in the ball of your foot that doesn't improve after changing your shoes and modifying your activities.
These conditions can cause pain and inflammation that change the way you walk and the distribution of weight in your feet. More-durable arch supports can be custom-made from a foam mold or plaster cast of your foot.
Look for shoes with a wide toe box and a rocker sole, which redistribute weight on the bottom of your foot.



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