Metatarsalgia is more common in older adults due to the aging process. Factors that increase your chance of developing metatarsalgia include:
- Feet with high arches
- Feet with abnormally long bones
- Claw/ hammer toes
- High-impact sports
- Being overweight
- Wearing shoes that don’t fit well or high heels
- Problems with circulation
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Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include the following:
The foot will need time to heal. Supportive care includes:
- Rest—Activities may need to be restricted at first.
- Ice—Ice therapy may help relieve swelling.
- Elevation—Keeping the foot elevated can help fluids drain or prevent fluids from building up.
Shoe inserts called orthotics may be advised to help lessen pain and provide support. Insoles may also be advised. They may be shock absorbers, arch supporters, or special pads that protect your foot.
A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) may be advised to reduce pain and inflammation. A corticosteroid shot is sometimes injected into the foot to lessen pain.
If there are foot problems that are causing the metatarsalgia, surgery may be advised. The type of surgery depends upon what is causing the problem.
Diet and Exercise
If excessive weight is contributing to the foot pain, you may be asked to lose weight through diet and exercise.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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a (Pain in Ball of Foot)
American College of Foot & Ankle Orthopaedics & Medicine http://www.acfaom.org
American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society http://www.aofas.org
The Canadian Orthopaedic Association http://www.coa-aco.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation http://www.canorth.org
Metatarsalgia. American College of Foot & Ankle Orthopaedics & Medicine website. Available at: http://www.acfaom.org/information-for-patients/common-conditions/metatarsalgia. Accessed February 22, 2018.
Pain in the ball of the foot (metatarsalgia). Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/musculoskeletal-and-connective-tissue-disorders/foot-and-ankle-disorders/metatarsalgia. Updated September 2016. Accessed February 18, 2016.