Metatarsalgia is a frequently used word that doesn't mean much. The metatarsals include the long bones behind the toes in the foot and the suffix -algia signifies pain, so metatarsalgia means pain in the metatarsals area. That is certainly somewhat useless as a diagnosis because pain will be caused by, practically, 100’s of various things. To make use of the phrase metatarsalgia is a lot like using the term ‘sore knee’. It isn't a diagnosis and is simply a non-specific word for pain in the ball of the foot. This will be relevant as having the diagnosis correct is very significant and the first step in getting the treatment right. There isn't any treatment for metatarsalgia. There is treatment for the various disorders which cause pain about the metatarsals.
Just about the most frequent reason for pain in this area is a disorder known as a plantar plate tear. The plantar plate is a strong ligament plantar to joints in the ball of the foot that give stability to the joint and secure it. When there is too much a amount of exercise and the toes get retracted or dorsiflexed too much, then that ligament will get strained resulting is what is referred to as plantar plate dysfunction. In the event that load continues on then a little tear may develop in the ligament. Another cause for symptoms is this location might be what is called sesamoiditis that is some inflammation of the tissues all around the small sesamoid bones at the bottom of the great toe. Sesamoiditis is often because of excessive pressure on those sesamoid bones, resulting in the irritation. Simply from these two causes of metatarsalgia it should be apparent that they are two totally different issues that might get lumped under that pointless name, metatarsalgia. Treatments for these two disorders are completely different, therefore it ought to be no surprise that that word really should no longer be used.