The metatarsal bones connect the toes with the mid-and-hind-foot bones. Because they are weight-bearing bones, they can become overly pressured, which can cause pain or burning in the ball of the foot, or a tingling/numb feeling in the toes. When this occurs, it is known as metatarsalgia. It is believed that women may be more at risk for developing metatarsalgia, along with those who wear high heels extensively or have a job that requires prolonged standing. Metatarsalgia may also be preceded by bunions or other foot conditions like hammertoes or Morton’s neuroma. If you have pain in the ball of your foot, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for an exam. If you are diagnosed with metatarsalgia, custom metatarsal orthotics, shoe modifications, and other treatments may be used to help ease the pain you are experiencing.
Foot pain is a very broad condition that could be caused by one or more ailments. The most common include:
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Bone Spurs
- Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
- Ingrown Toenails
- Arthritis (such as Gout, Rheumatoid, and Osteoarthritis)
- Flat Feet
- Injury (from stress fractures, broken toe, foot, ankle, Achilles tendon ruptures, and sprains)
- And more
To figure out the cause of foot pain, podiatrists utilize several different methods. This can range from simple visual inspections and sensation tests to X-rays and MRI scans. Prior medical history, family medical history, and any recent physical traumatic events will all be taken into consideration for a proper diagnosis.
Treatment depends upon the cause of the foot pain. Whether it is resting, staying off the foot, or having surgery; podiatrists have a number of treatment options available for foot pain.