Metatarsalgia (Forefoot Pain)
Metatarsalgia is a general term used to denote pain in the front or forefoot of the foot.
Signs and symptoms
There are numerous structures that can cause pain and discomfort in the forefoot. The most common area affected is the second, third and fourth metatarsophalangeal joints (ball of the foot). Intensity varies from mild to severe and may develop or worsen over a period of months. The toes may start to splay or curl in some cases.
What are the causes of metatarsalgia?
- Wearing high heels
- Wearing thin soled shoes
- Standing for long periods
- Certain foot types including flat feet
- High impact sports
- Age (the protective fat pad may be displaced or may atrophy with age)
Podiatry treatment of metatarsalgia
- Reduction of pressure with padding and orthotics
- Modification of activity
- Footwear recommendation