What is Metatarsal Syndrome?


The ball of your foot absorbs a huge amount of force whenever you walk or exercise which is why you are more likely to suffer an injury to this area, especially if you are involved in high impact sporting activities and training. The pain and discomfort caused by an injury or inflammation of the area around the metatarsal bones are called metatarsalgia or metatarsal syndrome.

Metatarsalgia may be traced to or imitated by the following problems or conditions so always consult with your podiatrist to get the correct diagnosis and treatment:

  • Rigorous training and aggressive competition—Players of high impact sports including tennis, and soccer are more likely to suffer from this injury.
  • Stress fractures—Imaging studies to detect hairline fractures in your toes or other bones will help confirm or negate the diagnosis, since
  • Poorly fitting shoes—Don’t wear shoes with a narrow toe box, and avoid athletic shoes that are worn out or that have lost good cushioning and support.
  • Being overweight—The ball of your foot absorbs a lot of weight when you walk, so losing weight can relieve some of this stress.
  • Morton’s neuromaThis is a growth of fibrous tissue that usually occurs between the third and fourth toes and is a contributing factor in metatarsalgia.
  • Arthritis or gout— and other systemic inflammatory conditions can be contributing factors to metatarsalgia.

Treatment for metatarsalgia includes resting the affected foot and wearing shoes with specially designed orthotic inserts that help isolate the region and greatly decrease pressure, pain, and discomfort.

Pain in the ball of your foot may be indicative of a variety of issues, so always see your podiatrist for the best care. At Fit Feet for Life, our team of board-certified podiatrists has access to advanced technologies and years of experience to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, including heel pain, sports injuries, toe deformities, nail fungus, and plantar warts.  Bonnie Sanchez, DPM, and Gregory Cook, DPM, provide high-quality foot and ankle care to patients in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area at our five offices conveniently located in Sun City Center, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, and our two Tampa locations. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.