Ball of Foot Pain (Metatarsalgia)

Ball of Foot Pain


A painful foot condition in the metatarsal region (the area between the arch and toes) of the foot.


Patients complain of pain or tenderness on the plantar surface of the foot in the metatarsal area and/or diffuse pain in the metatarsal joints. They often get a bruised feeling in the ball of the foot. The pain gets worse when the patient walks in barefoot, especially on hard surfaces such as concrete or ceramic tiles.

Biomechanical etiology

This condition is very common and the cause is abnormal weight distribution due to overpronation. Excess pronation causes the soft tissue structures to weaken and results in ligamentous laxity and muscular wastage. Then the metatarsals plantarflex and rotate which result in shearing pressure on forefoot and causes pain. Over time, there may be nerve damage or callosities on the foot.


Orthotics like the Metatarsal Gel Pad help to reduce the pressure on the-ball-of-the-foot and also control excessive movement of the foot and ankle joints, reduce pronation and provide cushioning to protect the feet. The orthotic is constructed with the pad placed behind the ball-of-the-foot to relieve pressure and redistribute weight from the painful area to more tolerant areas. Normally use elastic tape to position the pad loosely.

Additional Treatment

Footwear designed with a high, wide toe box (toe area) allows the foot to spread out. Stabilizer Insoles with arch support reduces pressure on the ball-of-the-foot. Both are ideal for treating the pain.


Instrinsic forefoot exercises.