Pain in the area between the arch and toes, or ball of the foot, is generally called metatarsalgia. The pain usually centers on one or more of the five bones (metatarsals) in this mid-portion of the foot. Also known as dropped metatarsal heads, metatarsalgia can cause abnormal weight distribution due to overpronation.
Metatarsalgia occurs when one or more of the metatarsal joints becomes painful or inflamed. People often develop a callus under the affected joint. Metatarsalgia also can be caused by arthritis, foot injury (from sports, a car accident, or repeated stress), hard surfaces (cement or tile floors), and specific footwear (rigid-soled work boots).
A simple change of shoes may solve the problem. Specific paddieng or accommodations may also be helpful. In more severe cases, custom orthotics may be prescribed to alleviate the pain and prevent overpronation.
If conservative therpaies fail to alleviate pain, surgery may be needed. If you suffer from pain in the ball of your foot, contact one of our foot and ankle specialists for a thorough exam, diagnosis, and treatment plan.