Metatarsalgia is a general term commonly used for any type of pain in the forefoot (the area just before the toes known as the ball of the foot) and can be due to many different conditions caused by undue focal pressure and forces in this area. The term Metatarsalgia is not a diagnosis and in order to treat forefoot pain effectively, it is important to diagnose the cause accurately first.
Common causes are Morton’s Neuroma, which is an inflamed nerve in the forefoot between the metatarsal heads, Bursitis, Plantar Plate tear, Tendonitis, and Stress Fractures.
All of these conditions usually have a biomechanical abnormality responsible for the cause. Once a diagnosis is made, recommended treatment may involve temporary padding/taping, a change of footwear, a course of joint mobilisation and/or foot orthoses.