Pain and inflammation in the ball of the foot, metatarsalgia, is a common symptom of several foot conditions. Injuries to the ball of the foot occur frequently in athletes who perform activities that put high-impact stress on the forefront of the foot. Diets that cause bone loss, hammertoe, high arches, and pronation of the foot or a tight Achilles tendon are just a few factors that can contribute to metatarsalgia. Metatarsalgia has no symptoms other than inflammation and pain in the forefront of the foot.
Since this symptom may be associated with a myriad of foot conditions, it may be best to visit your podiatrist to determine what the underlying condition that is causing the pain is. Depending on the cause, treatment may include rest, ice, physical therapy and orthotic devices to offload the symptomatic areas and improve foot function and footwear advice. Physical therapy will include mobilization and appropriate strengthening and stretching exercises. Surgery is not usually indicated and only ever as a last resort.