Foot pain in the "ball of your foot," the area between your arch and the toes, is generally called metatarsalgia. The pain usually centers on one or more of the five bones (metatarsals) in this mid-portion of the foot. It is common in athletes who play high impact sports. Overuse and recent weight gain can also lead to metatarsalgia.

Causes of Metatarsalgia

Also known as "dropped metatarsal heads," metatarsalgia can cause abnormal weight distribution due to over pronation. Metatarsalgia causes one of metatarsal joints to become painful or inflamed. People often develop a callus under the affected joint. Metatarsalgia can also be caused by arthritis, foot injury (sports, car accidents, repeated stress), hard surfaces (cement or tile floors) and specific footwear (rigid soled work boots). Inappropriate shoes will only aggravate the condition.

Treatment of Metatarsalgia

A simple change of shoes may solve the problem. In more severe cases, full-length custom-molded foot orthoses may need to be prescribed. In addition, our painless and effective MLS laser is very successful at treating metatarsalgia pain. 


Peter Wishnie, D.P.M.
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Owner of Family Foot & Ankle Specialists in Piscataway and Hillsborough, NJ. Make an appointment today!