Metatarsalgia is generally described as an aching burning sensation in the ball of the foot. It is usually felt in the sole of the foot and sometimes feel like "walking on pebbles". Other people feel a more diffuse vague pain, ache or burning. Some people have trouble around only one or two toes, others have it throughout one or both feet.. It can affect runners and other athletes who participate in high-impact sports. Because excessive amounts of running or jumping put extra stress on the metatarsals (see anatomy) People with certain foot shapes that create more stress on the metatarsal bones also may have these problems. Although generally not serious, metatarsalgia can limit your exercise program if you are an athlete or make standing or walking very uncomfortable for the ordinary person. If you suffer from this sort of pain you should make an appointment with your Podiatrist they will carry out a gait assessment and may prescribe custom orthotics which will help resolve this problem. Sometimes we will use other therapies in conjunction with orthotics these may include treatments such as ice, rest and physio therapy. Also we will assess your footwear to make sure it will not aggravate this condition.
Other causes of  metatarsalgia include, being overweight, high-heeled shoes, certain foot shapes such as a high-arched "cavus" foot in which the bones in the front of the foot (metatarsals) are angled downward which increases the pressure on the ends of these bones. Claw toes or hammer toes which press the metatarsals down towards the ground thus increasing the pressure on the fore foot. A stiff ankle which cannot be drawn up to right angles with the leg but points the foot down to the ground. A bunion can weaken the big toe and throw extra stress onto the ball of the foot. This can also happen after an operation on the big toe, such as a bunion correction. 











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Page last updated 14 October, 2007