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Metatarsalgia

Feet on beachDoes standing on tiptoe make you wince with pain? You may have metatarsalgia, or inflammation of the ball of the foot.

Symptoms and Causes

  • Metatarsalgia can make your feet extremely uncomfortable, with symptoms including:
  • Sharp pain or dull ache just behind the toes on the ball of the foot.
  • Pain that worsens while walking, running or jumping and improves when at rest.
  • Numbness or pain in the toes.
  • Pain in the feet that worsens when barefoot.


While there is occasionally one singular cause for metatarsalgia, it is typically caused by several factors, including:

  • Improper foot alignment
  • Improper walking mechanics
  • Unusual foot shape
  • Hammertoe
  • Intense training and activity
  • Bunions
  • Excess weight
  • Tight shoes
  • Morton’s neuroma
  • Stress fractures


Often pain in the foot can be healed with a day or two of rest, some ice and over the counter pain medication. However, if your pain is severe or ongoing, it may be time to see a podiatrist.


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