Metatarsalgia is a general term used to denote a painful foot condition in the metatarsal (ball of foot) region of the foot. This is a common foot disorder that can affect the bones and joints at the ball of the foot. Metatarsalgia is often located under the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th metatarsal heads, or more isolated at the first metatarsal head -near the big toe.
With this common foot condition, one or more of the metatarsal heads become painful and/or inflamed, usually due to excessive pressure over a long period of time. It is common to experience acute, recurrent pain, or chronic pain with metatarsalgia. Ball of foot pain is often caused from improper support or ill fitting shoes.