(Pain in Ball of Foot)
How to Say It: meta-tar-sal-jea
by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Metatarsalgia is pain and inflammation in the ball of the foot.
Some things that may cause this problem are:
This problem is more common in older adults. Other things that may raise the risk of this problem are:
Problems may be:
You will be asked about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. It will focus on the foot.
Images may need to be taken of the foot. This can be done with x-rays.
The goal of treatment is to ease pain and promote healing. Options are:
Some people may need surgery to treat foot problems that are causing metatarsalgia.
The risk of this problem can be lowered by:
American College of Podiatric Medicine
American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society
The Canadian Orthopaedic Association
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation
Forefoot pain (metatarsalgia). American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society—FootCareMD website. Available at: https://www.footcaremd.org/conditions-treatments/toes/forefoot-pain-metatarsalgia. Accessed July 30, 2020.
Pain in the ball of the foot (metatarsalgia). Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated December 2019. Accessed July 30, 2020.
Last reviewed March 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Laura Lei-Rivera, PT, DPT
Last Updated: 3/10/2021
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.
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.
To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.