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Metatarsalgia is the term for pain and inflammation in the ball of the foot. Rather than a disease itself, this is usually a symptom of a condition or a result of overuse caused by high-impact sports or activities. Many different athletes might experience this pain at one time or another, especially those who engage in running and jumping that impacts the ball of the foot.

In most cases, rest, elevation, and icing the foot will relieve the pain and resolve the problem. If you are experiencing pain in the ball of your foot that worsens with increased activity and decreases with rest, it is always best to check with a doctor to make sure that there is not an underlying cause associated with the pain. If you are concerned that you might have metatarsalgia, call us at 561-793-6170 today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced Palm Beach Gardens podiatrists or a podiatrist at one of our other locations. You can also click here to request an appointment online.

What is Metatarsalgia?

Metatarsalgia describes pain and inflammation on the ball of your foot. The ball of the foot is the area below the big toe. If you are highly active and participate in high impact sports that require running and jumping, then you are likely to experience pain and inflammation in the ball of your foot. In rare cases, metatarsalgia is caused by continually wearing shoes that do not fit properly or are shaped wrong.

Symptoms of Metatarsalgia

Sharp pain, burning, numbness, or tingling of the balls of your feet is an indication that you have this condition. Sometimes the pain might radiate into the toes or the big toe when pressure is applied to the area. In most cases the pain worsens with activity and feels better after resting. Another indication of metatarsalgia is increased pain when walking barefoot or flexing your feet.

Treatment for Metatarsalgia

If the metatarsalgia is a result of overuse, then treatment involves the simple and common techniques of icing the metatarsal area, elevating your feet, and resting. Many active individuals and athletes do not like sitting one out; however, rest is imperative so that it does not develop into chronic pain. Other treatment options might include recommending better athletic shoes with more support or cushioned insoles that help absorb shock and support the arches better.

Diagnosing Metatarsalgia

What should you expect when visiting the South Florida Foot & Ankle Centers for metatarsalgia treatment? If pain in the ball of your foot does not subside after icing and rest, you should come in to see one of our podiatrists so that they can develop a plan of care to get you back on your feet. Our doctors understand that athletes do not like being sidelined and we do everything possible to reduce your pain and safely get you back to the activities you love doing. Diagnosing metatarsalgia might involve taking an x-ray to ensure that the pain you are experiencing is not part of a more severe problem such as a stress fracture or broken bone and also includes examining the foot and your athletic shoes. The South Florida Foot & Ankle Centers doctors’ have a great deal of clinical experience and expertise in treating conditions of the feet. Our podiatrists specialize in making you feel comfortable by involving you in the treatment plan and explaining all of the available options to you.


In most cases, metatarsalgia is often not a serious condition and conservative treatment and rest can clear it up and get you back to your normal activities quickly. The podiatrists at South Florida Foot & Ankle Centers have a lot of experience healing foot pain and are very knowledgeable when it comes to evaluating and diagnosing patients.

Do these symptoms sound familiar? Contact South Florida Foot & Ankle Centers today for a comprehensive examination and treatment for metatarsalgia. Schedule an appointment with a podiatrist in Palm Beach Gardens or at any one of our six locations throughout Palm Beach. Call 561-793-6170 to speak with a staff member or click here to request an appointment online.

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