Symptoms of metatarsalgia may include:
- Sharp, aching or burning pain in the ball of your foot — the part of the sole just behind your toes
- Pain that worsens when you stand, run, flex your feet or walk — especially barefoot on a hard surface — and improves when you rest
- Sharp or shooting pain, numbness, or tingling in your toes
- A feeling of having a pebble in your shoe
Sometimes symptoms develop suddenly — especially if you've recently increased the time or intensity of your high-impact exercise, such as running — but problems usually develop over time.
When to see a doctor
Not all foot problems need medical care. Sometimes your feet simply ache after a long day of standing or a punishing workout. But it's best not to ignore any foot pain that lasts more than a few days. Talk to your doctor if you experience a burning pain in the ball of your foot that doesn't improve after changing your shoes and modifying your activities.
May 14, 2014
- Metatarsalgia. The American College of Foot & Ankle Orthopedics & Medicine. http://www.acfaom.org/information-for-patients/common-conditions/metatarsalgia. Accessed Sept. 1, 2013.
- Callahan LR. Overview of running injuries of the lower extremity. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 1, 2013.
- Skinner HB, ed. Current Diagnosis & Treatment in Orthopedics. 4th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2006. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=2321540. Accessed Sept. 1, 2013.
- Doherty GM, ed. Current Diagnosis & Treatment: Surgery. 13th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2010. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=23. Accessed Sept. 1, 2013.
- Wheeless CR, ed. Wheeless' Textbook of Orthopaedics. Durham, N.C.: DataTrace Internet Publishing; 2011. http://www.wheelessonline.com/ortho/metatarsalgia. Accessed Sept. 3, 2013.
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