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Dallas Podiatry Works

Metatarsalgia: When Ball of Foot Pain Becomes Unbearable

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Metatarsalgia is a condition characterized by sharp aching and sometimes burning pain right behind the toes. Other distinguishing characteristics manifest themselves such as:

  • Pain becomes less when you are at rest and gets significantly more noticeable when you walk
  • Pain when running or other impact exercises
  • Pain while flexing your foot.

High Heels can Contribute to Metatarsalgia

On occasion you may experience a numbness or pins and needles sensation in your toes. You are more apt to develop Metatarsalgia if you:

  • Engage in intense exercise
  • Wear high heels
  • Pack a few extra pounds
  • Have another foot injury or condition that has altered your weight bearing


Metatarsalgia is not usually serious although any foot ailment that can sideline you should be taken seriously. It may not require medical treatment, but you may wish to try the following to see if symptoms ease up:

  • Change shoes
  • Add cushioning insoles
  • Metatarsal pads
  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Over-the-counter pain medication
  • Arch supports - try over-the-counter or custom made to fit your foot perfectly


If you’ve tried resting the affected foot for a couple of days and are not getting relief from your pain, consider a visit to Dr. Brook or Dr. Northcutt. If left untreated Metatarsalgia can cause pain in other parts of the foot or other locations in the body such as knees, hips and lower back. Other foot problems have similar symptoms as Metatarsalgia, so in addition to your doctor’s examination of your foot, further diagnostic tests, such as x-rays, may be required to rule out other possible problems like stress fractures and confirm the diagnosis.

Only qualified physicians like Drs. Brook and Northcutt can determine the exact cause of your foot pain. Call Dallas Podiatry Works for an appointment at (972) 566-7474 in Dallas or (972) 943-3323 Baylor/Plano. You supply the sore feet and they'll supply the remedy!

Category: General

Dr. David R. Northcutt
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Dr. David Northcutt is a podiatrist and foot and ankle surgeon at Dallas Podiatry Works in TX.

1 Comments to "Metatarsalgia: Ball of Foot Pain"

I had ball of foot pain for almost four months. I saw five different doctors each one telling me something different. I had two different boots and nothing helped or would only help a little for about a day. The pain was horrible mostly under my second toe. I was always told by doctors to keep it flat on a hard surface due to an undermined stress fracture. I did that until I decided to take matters into my own hands. I got some heavy duty large bubble wrap. I put a couple of layers under my entire foot along with a gel ball foot pad. I have been doing this now for four days. INCREDIBLE difference. I can walk now with only minimal pain. I just wanted to pass this along to others who are dealing with this. I also found heat works well I bought those heat warmers for your toes that you can buy in the winter; huge help as well. I have a feeling after doing my own research online that I never had a stress fracture and it was pain all due to thin soled shoes I was wearing causing ball of foot pain. Thank you to all the websites with information regarding this.
Posted by suzanne on February 18, 2013 at 03:20 PM

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