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The ball of the foot is crucial for walking, running and jumping. Injuries to this area of the foot can cause metatarsalgia, inflammation and pain in the ball of the foot. Metatarsalgia can make it painful to walk or run, and it is a common foot/ankle injury for athletes. Our team of sports injury specialists and orthopedic surgeons at DOCS Health offer metatarsalgia treatment at our medical facility in Los Angeles.

What Causes Metatarsalgia?

The ball of the foot contains muscles, ligaments, tendons and the metatarsal bones that connect the midfoot to the toes. Running and jumping can put extra pressure on the ball of the foot, leading to injury. Metatarsalgia usually is caused by repetitive trauma to the ball of the foot, resulting in inflammation and pain. Some factors that can contribute to metatarsalgia include:

  • Weak or tight toe muscles
  • Improper footwear (too loose or tight)
  • Hammertoe
  • Tightness in the Achilles tendon
  • High levels of running/jumping
  • High arch
  • A longer second metatarsal bone (second toe)

Pushing off the ball of the foot or jumping can be painful. Metatarsalgia results in inflammation, caused by irritation to the end of the first two metatarsal bones or other tissue injury.

Ball of Foot Pain Relief

In most cases, conservative treatments can be effective in relieving metatarsalgia. Ice, rest and compression may be helpful, as well as beginning physical therapy or rehabilitation to strengthen and stretch the foot tendons and muscles. In severe cases, where conservative treatments are not effective, surgery may be recommended.

If you have ongoing pain in the ball of your foot, you may be suffering from metatarsalgia. For diagnosis and metatarsalgia treatment, contact us at DOCS Health in Los Angeles to schedule an appointment.