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Metatarsalgia - Ball of Foot Pain

The metatarsal region refers to the ball of the foot. Metatarsalgia is a burning sensation in the ball of the foot that can be either mild or severe, and can sometimes be a recurring problem.


Older people are more susceptible to metatarsalgia, as the fat pad protecting the foot thins with age, subjecting the area to more stress. This condition can also be the result of ill-fitting shoes such as narrow women's footwear with high heels, which force the foot into an unnatural position and exerts more pressure on to the ball of the foot.

Partaking in any high impact physical activity without wearing the correct footwear can also be the cause of this particular condition, as well as other foot conditions such as:

  • Arthritis.
  • Excessive pronation (Flat Feet).
  • Hallux Abducto Valgus.
  • Hammer toes.
  • Morton's Neuroma.

Prevention & Treatment

Use metatarsal supports to protect the ball of the foot and support the metatarsal and longitudinal arch. Reusable gel pads, adhesive padding and orthotics (special insoles) are usually the best methods of treatment available, as they support the ball of the foot and help to redistribute pressure around the base of the foot.

However orthotics and padding must be used with the appropriate footwear. Shoes must be of a design that contains a high, wide toe box that allow feet room to breath and spread out.

  • Metatarsal supports.
  • Ball of the foot cushions.
  • Reusable gel pads.
  • Adhesive padding.
  • Orthotics.
  • Shoes with wide toe box and sensible heels.


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