Metatarsalgia (Ache-type pain)

Metatarsalgia is a generic term for pain and inflammation in the ball of the foot. Metatarsalgia results from excessive forces being placed on the ball of the foot. The pain is often more diffuse and involves one or more of the joints of the ball of the foot. This can be a result of increased activity, non-supportive shoe gear, foot deformities or excessive weight. Metatarsalgia may be the result of other conditions such as capsulitis, Mortons neuroma, or a stress fracture.

Symptoms of Metatarsalgia are wide ranging but typically presents as an aching pain in the ball of the foot.  It is usually an overuse injury which worsens with prolonged standing or activity.  The pain is usually worse barefoot or in flexible shoes especially when on a hard surface.  
Conservative treatment is designed to decrease excessive force on the forefoot. This can be accomplished with a more supportive shoe like those found in the Propet shoe line.  Accommodative padding like the Metatarsal Foam Cushion pad or Traditional Gel metatarsal pad can also decrease stress on the ball of the foot.  The Tri-Performance 3/4 arch support by Scott Foot care has a built in metatarsal pad to off load pressure from the ball of the foot.  For those individuals whose metatarsalgia is due to excessive pronation orthotics made by Orthodynamics may be the solution. To decrease stress on the ball of the foot a shoe with a rocker sole or balance bar is effective.