Metatarsalgia 101: Diagnosis, causes, treatments, & more

Metatarsalgia is a common condition of the foot that causes pain and inflammation in the ball. You may experience pain in one or more of your metatarsal bones, which are found in the ball of the feet. The pain may feel like a sharp ache, often like stepping on sharp rocks or pebbles. Also, the discomfort could be maximum when you are running. You can consider visiting a Maryville, IL metatarsalgia relief clinic to discuss your symptoms with a specialist. Here are some more aspects related to diagnosis, treatment, causes, and more.  

Causes at a glance

Metatarsalgia pain is often related to overuse or pressure on one spot of the foot. If you are into high-impact sports or activities, you are at a higher risk of the condition. It could be triggered by tight toe extensors, hammertoe deformity, and excessive pronation. Obesity and bunions are other causal factors. Those who wear high heels for long hours, have other conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, and those with high arches are also at great risk of metatarsalgia pain.


Your doctor will check your symptoms and order X-rays to determine whether you have metatarsalgia. A bone scan can be handy to find the specific part of the feet that are inflamed. If your doctor suspects Morton’s neuroma, you may have to go for an ultrasound.

Medical Treatments

Doctors usually try the standard options for treating metatarsalgia instead of surgery. They may ask you to avoid all kinds of activities that may exert pressure on your feet. Icing and using a pressure bandage may also help, and some patients may also benefit from using orthotics inside their shoes. There are also exercises that can reduce pain and inflammation. Your doctor may also remove a callus from your feet that could be responsible for the extra pressure on a point. Suggesting nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for managing sudden and unbearable pain is common.

Surgery for metatarsalgia

If other treatments don’t work, your doctor may consider surgery, which is an outpatient procedure, and you can go home within a few hours. Metatarsalgia is usually manageable, but surgery may help offer long-term relief. The procedure doesn’t have a long recovery period, but you may have to avoid the gym and extensive exercise for at least three to four months.

Don’t let metatarsalgia stop you from enjoying your life. Talk to a foot specialist in Maryville today and get an accurate diagnosis with a treatment plan.