The metatarsal bones of the middle toes come together at the ball area of the foot, and when the tissues around these joints and bones become stressed and inflamed from overwork and overuse, severe swelling and pain can occur in a condition called metatarsalgia. Arthritis is also a common cause.
Some of the other possible causes and contributing factors to developing metatarsal syndrome include the following:
- Excessive work, exercise, and sporting activities—People who are on their feet all day for work, long-distance runners, and participants in high-stress sports such as basketball and football are more susceptible to developing metatarsalgia.
- Toe fractures—Hairline fractures in the toes can mimic other conditions and contribute to metatarsal syndrome.
- Toe deformities—People who develop toe deformities like bunions and hammertoes are more likely to develop pain in the ball of the foot.
- Tight-fitting shoes—Tightly fitting shoes push the toes together and put excess stress in the toe bones possibly contributing to the condition. Wearing properly fitted shoes with a wide toe box will help to decrease pressure on the toes.
- Being overweight—Puts more stress on the ball of the foot.
- Hereditary factors—People who have high arches or who have a long second toe can experience excess pressure on the ball of the foot.
If you are experiencing pain and discomfort in the ball of your foot, see your podiatrist for the best care. At Family Foot & Ankle Clinic, Dr. Stephen Markantone treats a wide variety of foot and ankle conditions including sports injuries, diabetic foot issues, pediatric foot conditions, toe and foot deformities, fungal infections, and heel problems. Equipped with the most advanced technologies and a dedicated staff, Family Foot & Ankle Clinic provides individualized and high-quality care for patients in the North Versailles and Delmont, PA areas. Contact our North Versailles office at 412-824-9370 or our Delmont office at 724-733-3338 to schedule an appointment.