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Metatarsalgia is a term that describes pain and inflammation in the metatarsal area (the area between the arches and toes on the bottom of our feet). We commonly refer to this area as the “balls” of our feet. The metatarsal bones are the five bones at the base of our toes. They connect the toes to the rest of the foot and absorb our body weight when we walk or stand.
Metatarsalgia is an umbrella term that can involve a variety of syndromes and conditions which cause pain at the ball of the foot. Examples include: Metatarso-phalangeal joint stress syndrome, neuroma, stress fracture, capsulitis, or bursitis in the ball of the foot.
A foot specialist can help identify the underlying cause of your metatarsalgia and the best course of treatment.
Metatarsalgia is characterized by pain at the balls of the feet. The pain can be described as sharp, a dull ache, or a burning sensation. It often worsens with exercise and weight-bearing activities, and improves with rest. The pain is often felt during the “toe-off” stage of walking, which is the motion of putting weight onto our toes as we lift our foot off the ground to propel us forward.
Metatarsalgia is an umbrella term that describes the symptoms produced by other conditions; it is not necessarily a condition in and of itself. Therefore, the source of metatarsalgia will vary depending on the condition that causes it.
Some conditions that cause Metatarsalgia include:
This list is not exhaustive.
Treatment options for metatarsalgia depend on its underlying cause. Usually rest will improve symptoms; however too much rest can also weaken the affected muscles and ligaments, which will make the condition worse in the long run. Therefore, effective management of metatarsalgia often involves a combination of the following:
An assessment with a foot specialist can help determine the underlying cause of your metatarsalgia and the best course of treatment. To book an appointment, use our online booking form below or call 416-769-FEET (3338) – no referral needed!
We also have a curated selection of supportive footwear available at our foot clinic. The knowledgeable staff and foot specialists at our clinic can help you find the solution that works best for you and your unique physiology.
The following risk factors can make you more prone to developing metatarsalgia:
The following can prevent or reduce your risk of developing metatarsalgia:
Our simple to use, online booking process makes it easy to book an appointment with a chiropodist for any of our services. No referral needed!
Emily is the newest addition to the Feet First family. She assists with the clinic’s accounting and finances, as well as all the behind-the-scenes work that keeps the clinic running smoothly. In addition to her accounting smarts, she brings sunshine and positivity to everyone at Feet First Clinic.
Part of our administrative support staff, Erica also works behind the scenes writing and editing content for our website and blog. She loves researching and writing educational content to help patients and anyone dealing with pain. When she’s not busy in the clinic, you’ll find her at her local gym, exploring underground music, hiking with friends, or cheering on her favourite sports teams (Go Jays!). She also loves huskies!
Day in and out, Bianca works hard to ensure Feet First Clinic runs smoothly. Customer service is at the top of her list and she treats every customer like family. Bianca has a passion for fitness and is dedicated to helping people take care of their feet and body. There is no problem that she can’t solve and she believes that where there is a will, there’s a way.
If you’ve been to the clinic before, chances are you had the pleasure of meeting Carolina! Carolina’s daily goal is going above and beyond to make sure patients are always completely satisfied. Having worked in the podiatry industry for 22 years, Carolina brings a wealth of knowledge pertaining to client service, insurance policies, and procedures. She steers the ship to make sure everything runs smoothly on the daily. Carolina is known for spicing up every outfit with her signature costume jewellery.