In medical terminology, the frontal foot pain is described as metatarsalgia which is generally felt in the metatarsal regions of your feet, that is the padding directly underneath your toes. You might also experience inflammation and discomfort along with the pain, while you are flexing your toes.

Metatarsalgia can hinder your daily activities such as standing or walking because the shooting pain is directly under your toes, therefore, its early diagnosis and treatment are extremely necessary. Therefore, let us know what is metatarsalgia exactly, what are its symptoms, causes and how can we treat it.

What is Metatarsalgia?

Also known as the ball of foot pain, metatarsalgia causes pain on top of the foot. This pain on the top of the foot feels like a bruise and under severe circumstances, becomes extremely unbearable to endure. As mentioned earlier, it affects the metatarsal bones in your foot, which can be caused by a plethora of reasons.

What are the causes of foot pain?

Metatarsalgia can cause pain and discomfort in the top of your foot as mentioned earlier. Early diagnosis and treatment are required to prevent the condition from worsening. More often than not, Metatarsalgia can be caused by a plethora of reasons such as intense physical activities, the anatomical structure of your toes (where one toe bigger than the other one), fractures of previous injuries which have not healed completely, wearing shoes which do not fit your size, overweight and arthritis. 

Apart from these common causes, some other serious conditions can give rise to metatarsalgia. One of them is Morton’s neuroma, where the tissues situated between your third and the fourth toe are thickened which is extremely painful but benign. Morton’s neuroma is also called intermetatarsal neuroma.


In addition to Morton’s neuroma, Freiberg’s disease can also be one of the major causes of metatarsalgia. In this disease, the second metatarsal bone of your feet hinders the development of the bone and consequently, a proper bone structure often lacks. Freiberg’s disease is often caused by a lack of proper blood circulation throughout the body, which can be aggravated by putting too much stress on the bone.

Sesamoiditis is also one of the major reasons which can trigger metatarsalgia. Sesamoiditis is a medical condition where the bones connected to your tendons, especially the ones in the shape of a pulley, are broken or get inflamed. This is one of the common conditions which is experienced by people who have extremely intense physical activities such as ballet dancers or athletes.

How is the frontal foot pain diagnosed?

When you are caught in extreme situations such as swelling or discolouration, you will have to consult a doctor. The doctor will examine your foot, ask you certain questions regarding your lifestyle and the physical activities you indulge in and ask you to do some of them while standing and sitting. Moreover, you will also have to provide them with the information for your foot size and what shoes you wear every day.

If you are suffering from comorbidities such as diabetes or cholesterol, it is best to let your doctor know about that, as these conditions do affect other parts of your body. Be that as it may, the pain and discomfort of mild metatarsalgia will go away on their own without any medication or exercise.  

How to treat Metatarsalgia once it’s diagnosed?

If you are suffering from mild metatarsalgia, you do not have to worry about anything and you also do not have to take any medications, provided you are not suffering from any comorbidities such as diabetes or cholesterol. In order to get cure yourself of it as fast as you can, you just have to follow certain home remedies which include:

  • Rest: One of the major reasons you are suffering from metatarsalgia is intense physical activity. Therefore, you need to rest for a while and allow your foot to heal on its own. 

After doing any physical activity, you can just take an ice pack and keep it where you are feeling the pain for 20 minutes. This will help you to reduce inflammation and pain.

  • Wear good footwear: As mentioned earlier, metatarsalgia often takes place when you wear tight heels or shoes. When you wear tight shoes, your feet are not properly aligned which can cause pain and discomfort. Moreover, it is also not advisable to wear high heels for a longer period.
  • Exercise: Intense exercises or physical activities are one of the reasons for frontal foot pain, however, that does not mean that you should not do anything. You might want to try some of the easy stretches which can enhance your flexibility and mobility to release your pain.
  • Wear inserts: In order to cushion your feet or install some extra padding that can reduce the pain or discomfort, you can use orthotic inserts or shoe inserts. These inserts help you in providing the extra padding which can help you provide comfort and even reduce the pain.  
  • Weight: One of the major reasons for metatarsalgia which might have been overlooked in the previous section is excess body weight. Obesity can put era stress on your foot which can lead to frontal foot pain. Therefore, it is extremely necessary to manage your weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

These are some of the home remedies that you can try along with the medications prescribed by the doctor. However, if you are suffering from metatarsalgia which is caused by a hammertoe or a pinched nerve, your doctor may recommend corrective surgery on you to treat the abnormality.

Therefore, these are some of the ways that you can treat the ball of the foot pain. Do not forget to wear comfortable fitting shoes that do not change the alignment of your feet. Moreover, maintain a healthy weight by following a healthy, holistic lifestyle. 

If you’re suffering from co-comorbidities such as diabetes, make sure that you keep that in check.

If you are an athlete or someone who indulges in intense physical exercises, remember to take rests in between the activities. All these measures will help you keep your frontal foot pain.