Metatarsalgia refers to pain and inflammation in the ball of the foot. This is the area between the arches and toes on the bottom of the foot. Metatarsalgia centers under the five bones at the bases of the toes, the metatarsals. The pain of metatarsalgia can be caused by a number of conditions and can have varied treatments. Anyone can get metatarsalgia, although runners and others who take part in high impact sports or spend more time on their forefoot have the condition more frequently than others. People with high arches also have metatarsalgia more than others.
It could be a plantar plate tear. Our expert explains common causes and what treatments are available to find relief. The condition — called a plantar plate tear — can happen either suddenly or as a result of chronic, repetitive stress over time. Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services.
If you buy something through a link on this page, we may earn a small commission. How this works. Metatarsalgia is a painful condition that affects the ball of the foot. The metatarsals are bones that connect the toes to the ankles. It can result from overuse or high-impact sports, arthritis , and wearing inappropriate footwear, such as high-heeled shoes.