Footech President

Jacques Martin, D.S.S., B.Sc., C.Ped.
President, Footech Inc., Certified Pedorthist


Metatarsalgia is a term used to denote pain and inflammation in the metatarsal region of the foot, or the ball of the foot. This common foot disorder may also affect the bones and joints of the foot. The condition typically occurs when metatarsal heads are subjected to pressure for long periods of time. Acute, recurrent or chronic pain can be experienced, and is often caused by wearing restrictive or inappropriate shoewear with a narrow toe box. Increased stress on the metatarsal head region can be caused by interdigital neuroma, metatarsophalangeal synovitis, and inflammatory arthritis. Pain is aggravated during the mid-stance and propulsion phases of running and walking and may be accompanied by loss of sensation in some toes. Persistent stress can lead to inflammation of the surrounding tissues. The condition can be worsened by wearing shoes with high heels or participating in high impact activities without appropriate shoewear or orthotics support. Metatarsalgia can worsen with age, as the fat pads under the foot tend to become progressively thinner.

Properly-fitted foot orthotics equipped with metatarsal pads can relieve ball-of-foot pain and redistribute pressure and weight to other areas of the foot. Shoewear with a wide toe box and rocker sole is also recommended. Individuals with high arches often respond well to orthotic devices that provide total contact to the medial longitudinal arch. Preventing arch collapse reuding stress on the metatarsal heads. Rigid orthotics with extensions under the first metatarsal bone can be used when metatarsalgia is combined with Morton’s neuroma.

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