Feet have five metatarsal bones and they run from the arch of the foot all the way to the toe joints. Metatarsalgia is a term used to describe four foot conditions that cause pain, burning, or discomfort under the ball of the foot or the metatarsal bones. Basically, in a nutshell, metatarsalgia is a big, long word for ball of foot pain.

Some symptoms of metatarsalgia can include a pain or burning sensation in the balls of the feet when standing, walking, or running, which then feels better when you’re at rest. It could be a sharp shooting pain at your toes or a numbness or tingling at your toes. Metatarsalgia can be caused in a variety of ways, and they can include a dropped arch, intense activity, a trauma to your foot, arthritis, or even just wearing improper footwear.

After your foot and lower limb exam, pedorthic treatment for metatarsalgia may include custom-made foot orthodics with metatarsal pads to help cushion and support the ball of your foot. Canadian Certified Pedorthists will often recommend shoes with a stiff rockerbottom sole to minimize the stress when we extend our toes as we walk. Additionally, we recommend selecting shoes with a low heel to reduce stress put on the ball of our foot and thicker soles to help absorb shock.

If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort in your feet, ask your local Canadian Certified Pedorthist if pedorthic management would benefit you.