Metatarsalgia is a common overuse injury described as pain in the forefoot associated with increased stress over the metatarsal head region. Metatarsalgia often is referred to as a symptom, rather than as a specific disease. Common causes of metatarsalgia include interdigital neuroma, metatarsophalangeal synovitis, avascular necrosis, sesamoiditis, and inflammatory arthritis; however, these causes often are diagnosed separately.

Symptoms of Metatarsalgia

It is important to seek a healthcare provider if you have any of these following symptoms:

  • Pain at one or more metatarsal heads.
  • Sharp pain.
  • Pain that gets progressively worse as the day goes on.
  • Diffuse forefoot pain.
  • Midfoot pain.

Causes of Metatarsalgia

Some causes of metatarsalgia include:

  • High impact sports or activities.
  • Being overweight.
  • Stress fractures.
  • Morton’s neuroma.
  • Bad quality shoes.

Treatment of Metatarsalgia

Metatarsalgia can get progressively worse, it is important to treat it via:

  • Heat therapy.
  • Medication (consult a doctor).
  • Exercise via non-high impact activities.
  • Cold therapy.
  • Physiotherapy.
  • Massage therapy.
  • Acupuncture.
  • Chiropractic rehabilitation
  • Rest.
  • Getting new shoes.

Preventing Metatarsalgia

Some preventative measures include:

  • Ensure good quality shoes.
  • Ensure good quality orthotics.
  • Rest.
  • Ensure proper warmup and cooldown.
  • Do not overexert the foot.


If you experience metatarsalgia and would like to take a natural approach to health, we can help. Our Mississauga clinics have an approach to better health.

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