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There are many causes of foot pain, but when most people talk about foot pain they are describing symptoms that cause pain under the ball of the foot. When foot pain occurs under the ball of the foot, the medical term is metatarsalgia. Metatarsalgia is pain in the area of the ball of the foot, which is given its shape by the rounded ends of the metatarsal bones. Many different conditions can cause metatarsalgia -- most often faulty foot functioning, overuse, or a decreased fat pad on the sole of the foot.


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What are the causes of ball of foot pain?

A number of factors can create metatarsalgia, and being able to narrow down the cause can help determine treatment options for your podiatrist:

  • Activity: Have you had recent, intense physical activity?

  • Anatomy: Do you have a high arch or a second toe longer than the big toe

  • History: Do you have any stress fractures?

  • Footwear: Do you wear high heels or shoes that are too small/tight?

  • Existing Issues: Do you have hammer toes and bunions?

  • Health: Being overweight can cause increased pressure on the balls of the feet.

  • Joints: Do you have existing metatarsal joint pain or arthritis?


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