Metatarsalgia

Pain in the area between the arch and toes, or ball of the foot, is generally called metatarsalgia . The pain usually centers on one or more of the five bones ( metatarsals ) in this mid-portion of the foot. Also known as dropped metatarsal heads , metatarsalgia can cause abnormal weight distribution due to overpronation.

Metatarsalgia occurs when one of the metatarsal joints becomes painful or inflamed. People often develop a callus under the affected joint. Metatarsalgia also can be caused by arthritis, foot injury (from sports, a car accident, or repeated stress), hard surfaces (cement or tile floors), and specific footwear (rigid-soled work boots).

A simple change of shoes may solve the problem. In more severe cases, custom orthotics may be prescribed to alleviate the pain and prevent overpronation.

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