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Metatarsalgia: Ball of Foot Pain

Heel PainMetatarsalgia denotes a common foot condition characterized by pain and inflammation of the joints and bones of the ball of the foot - the area just before the toes, also called the metatarsal region.

Symptoms of metatarsalgia can develop suddenly, especially after an increase in exercise or high-impact activities, but normally the problems develop over time. Common symptoms of metatarsalgia include:

  • Sharp, aching or burning pain in the ball of your foot -- the part of the sole just behind the toes
  • Pain that intensifies when you stand, walk or run
  • Pain that radiates from the balls of the feet into the toes
  • Numbness or tingling in the toes
  • A feeling in your feet as if you are walking with a pebble in your shoe
  • Pain that increases when walking barefoot

Sometimes a single factor can trigger metatarsalgia. More often, multiple factors contribute to the pain, including:

  • Over-training or Over-activity. Extensive training and high-impact sports, especially running, places an abnormal amount of stress on the balls of the feet, causing irritation, inflammation and pain.
  • Other foot disorders. High arches, hammertoes, bunions, stress fractures and Morton's neuroma can all trigger metatarsalgia symptoms.
  • Poor-fitting footwear. High heels, narrow-toed shoes and shoes without adequate padding can all contribute to metatarsal problems.
  • Excess weight. Extra weight places excess pressure on your metatarsals.
  • Aging. The fat pads on the metatarsals thin out as a person ages, diminishing the ability of the metatarsal bones to protect themselves.

Although generally not serious, metatarsalgia can disrupt your day to day activities, and when left untreated can lead to additional pain in your unaffected foot, back or hips. Treatment to eliminate metatarsalgia symptoms can be as simple as resting, icing the affected area and wearing proper-fitting shoes to significantly reduce swelling and ease pain.

When conservative treatments aren't affective and pain persists, visit New Orleans Podiatry Associates for a full exam and a proper diagnosis. In most cases, metatarsalgia can be treated non-surgically. An experienced podiatrist at our New Orleans office may prescribe specially-designed orthotics or shock-absorbing insoles and arch supports to prevent and minimize future problems with metatarsalgia.

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New Orleans Podiatry Associates
4.9/5★★★★★22 Reviews
Verified Patient Reviews
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K. D. (Verified Patient)
★★★★★Oct 05, 2021
Dr.Lang, and his staff are always extremely friendly , professional and helpful. This office is beautiful and I would definitely recommend it to everyone I know.
J. Z. (Verified Patient)
★★★★★Sep 23, 2021
Great Doctor and staff
T. J. (Verified Patient)
★★★★★Sep 16, 2021
Dr. Edward Lang has been my podiatrist since 2012. I could not have chosen a more compassionate, understanding and excellent doctor. The staff in his office is so accommodating and empathetic to each patients unique situation. If you are in need of a Podiatrist; do not hesitate to call Dr. Lang's office. You will not be disappoint
J. C. (Verified Patient)
★★★★★Aug 30, 2021
Mi esposo Carlos Cortez y yo estamos muy satisfechos 0 con el servicio del Doctor Lang, ya que mi esposo tuvo un accidente en su trabajo y se daño el tendón de su pie izquierdo, Él fue donde el primer doctor y este dijo que mi esposo no necesitaba cirugía, que solo con terapia podía repararlo, pero no nos convecimos de ese doctor y
S. W. (Verified Patient)
★★★★★Aug 30, 2021
I can't believe the luck I had in finding this place a few years ago. The sense of family between the staff is something you feel even as a patient there. Dr. Lang and staff work as a team, are very thorough and do everything imaginable to make you happy and comfortable. Everyone here cares about how you ate feeling and all of your n
M. B. (Verified Patient)
★★★★★Aug 30, 2021
Dr Lang and his office are the epitome of professional, kindness and caring.
A. W. (Verified Patient)
★★★★★Aug 30, 2021
I was so thankful I was referred to Dr. Lang for a foot injury due to tennis. Dr. Lang and his team made me feel welcome and took care of all of my needs. My foot healed great and I am so thankful to be back on the court!
M. L. (Verified Patient)
★★★★★Aug 30, 2021
Recently had an ingrown toenail removed. I was very anxious and nervous about the pain and getting it removed but the doctor and staff made me as comfortable as possible. The removal was not nearly as bad as I had anticipated. The doctor is very friendly and so gentle that I didn't even know he had started the procedure when he did.
B. D. (Verified Patient)
★★★★★Aug 30, 2021
Dr. Lang is an amazing podiatrist. Working in the service industry for over a decade ,took a toll on both of my feet. Dr. Lang, performed both bunion surgeries on me. Best decision I ever made, I am able to stand with out any of my feet aching. I can once again fit comfortably in my shoes. Thank You !!! Dr.Lang
A. E. (Verified Patient)
★★★★★Aug 30, 2021
The people running this place are amazing 🤩 people ! Leyla Aviles
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