The metatarsus is the forward part of the foot that comprises the metatarsal bones under the heads of your toes—the ball of your foot. This area may become stressed and inflamed from a variety of causes including participation in high impact sports like tennis, being overweight, having untreated high arches, and wearing poorly fitted shoes. Arthritis and osteoporosis (thinning of the bones) are also contributing factors to the development of metatarsalgia.
Some of the symptoms of metatarsalgia include:
- A sharp, stabbing pain—or tingling in your toes, or, conversely, a lack of feeling
- Increased pain—upon standing, running, or walking
- Pain in the ball of the foot and environs— that doesn’t subside after a few days of rest
There are 28 bones in your foot, and 19 of them are in your toes and midfoot area, so there are a variety of complications that can occur with this part of your foot. Since metatarsalgia has many of the same symptoms as similar foot problems, it is important to seek the services of a foot specialist to rule out things such as a stress fracture.
If left untreated for a long period of time, the limping that this condition often causes can lead to future problems in your lower back, knees, and hips.
Oftentimes, home treatments such as resting the foot or using an isolating metatarsal pad may be sufficient to relieve your pain. However, if other complications are in evidence, such as hammertoes, realignment of the metatarsal bones may be necessary to provide relief of pain and discomfort.
If you are experiencing pain in the ball of your foot, your foot care professional is here to help. At Podiatry Center of New Jersey, Dr. Russell Samofal treats a variety of conditions such as sports injuries, diabetic foot problems, pediatric foot conditions, toe deformities, arthritis, nail fungus, arch problems and heel pain. Equipped with advanced technologies and a dedicated staff, Podiatry Center of New Jersey provides individualized high quality care for patients all across Morris, Passaic, Bergen and Essex counties. For all your foot and ankle problems, contact our Wayne office at (973) 925-4111 for an appointment.