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metatarsalgia met·a·tar·sal·gi·a (mět'ə-tär-sāl'jē-ə, -jə)
A cramping burning painthat focuses in the region of the metatarsal bones of the foot.
persistent pain in the metatarsal region, or ball, of the foot. The condition arises when the weight of the body, while standing, is forced to rest on the centre of the anterior arch (on the heads of the central metatarsal bones) instead of on the inside and outside of the foot. The most common cause of metatarsalgia is the wearing of improper footwear. Among women this may be high-heeled shoes that compress the toes; among people of both sexes who are active in high-impact sports such as running, it may be athletic shoes with worn-out or poorly designed soles. Other factors that can add to stress on the metatarsals are excess weight, an unusually high arch of the foot, hammertoe, bunions, and age. Among middle-aged people the pain of metatarsalgia may be aggravated by Morton toe, a condition caused by enlargement of the digital nerve as it passes between the metatarsal heads to the toes.