Symptoms of Metatarsalgia may include:

  • Sharp, aching or burning pain in the ball of your foot
  • Pain in the area around your second, third or fourth toes
  • Pain that gets worse when you stand, walk or run and improves when you rest
  • Sharp or shooting pain in your toes
  • Numbness or tingling in your toes
  • A feeling in the ball of the foot as if you're walking with a pebble or hard pea in your shoe
  • Increased pain when you're walking barefoot, especially on a hard surface

Causes of Metatarsalgia may include:

  • Intense activities
  • Foot trauma
  • Poor foot mechanics
  • Certain foot types such as high arches
  • Foot deformities such as hammer toe, longer 2nd toe
  • Arthritis
  • Fat pad atrophy
  • Bunions
  • Obesity
  • Improper fitting footwear

If you have a hammer toe, you may experience pain at the end of your toe, under the 2nd metatarsal head and in the space between the 1st and 2nd metatarsal head or 2nd and 3rd metatarsal head. A callus can also form on top of the PIP joint and/or under the 2nd MT head. Proper fitting footwear that is deep enough in the toe box to accommodate the hammer toe is very important. Custom foot orthotics can reduce pressure behind the MT head.

If you have a longer second toe, you have a Morton’s Toe. This can put too much pressure on the toe than it is designed to handle. You must fit your footwear to accommodate the longer toe or a toe deformity can occur when there isn’t enough room for it to extend when walking.

What can a custom foot orthotic do to help?

Custom foot orthotics help to control poor foot mechanics, but they can also be designed to offload the metatarsal area to reduce symptoms of metatarsalgia. A METATARSAL PAD placed behind the metatarsal heads or high pressure area as seen below can be built into the custom foot orthotic.