Metatarsalgia is the general term for pain in the ball of the foot- at the base of the toes. More often it is a sign of another problem rather than a problem by itself. Course: The patient will generally describe a history of gradual onset of pain and local tenderness over several weeks. Causes include
1. Overuse particularly in runners or tennis players.
2. High heeled shoes.
3. Overweight or obesity.
4. Restrictions in the Achilles tendon or ankle/foot complex.
5. The post-operative foot.
Non-pharmaceutical management includes
1. Rest- avoidance of aggravating activities.
2. Weight loss.
3. Well-fitting supportive footwear.
4. Specific exercises from a physiotherapist to improve strength and flexibility.
5. Metatarsal pads for added cushioning support.
6. Addressing any external factors eg. Gout etc.
7. Always following the advice of your treating health professional.