Progressive Foot Care

Metatarsalgia Overview and Causes

Metatarsalgia is a general term used to describe a very common condition that causes localized pain to the ball of the foot.  Patients normally complain of pain associated with inflammation and symptoms of achy, sharp, and burning sensations. Often, there is bursitis associated with metatarsalgia.  The pain is generally due to poor mechanics of the foot often combined with improperly fitting shoes. 

It is normal to experience acute, chronic and recurrent symptoms of metatarsalgia.  It is essentially caused from overloading of the forefoot or ball of the foot secondary to tight toe boxes, high heels, and shoes that have no support. Some other causes of metatarsalgia include:

  • Fat Pad atrophy:  As we get older, the fat pad in our foot tends to thin out, providing less cushioning to the foot making people more susceptible to pain at the ball of the foot.  
  • Arthritis, gout, and other inflammatory joint disorders (especially Rheumatoid arthritis) can cause metatarsalgia
  • Being overweight can increase pressure to the ball of the foot producing pain
  • Claw toes, hammer toes, and other joint deformities can cause the foot to function improperly and lead to metatarsalgia

Metatarsalgia can cause much discomfort, and make for difficult walking and standing.  If you are experiencing pain at the ball of the foot, visit the doctors at Progressive Foot Care for treatment.