Metatarsalgia is a frequently used phrase which doesn't mean a lot. The metatarsals are the long bones behind the toes in the foot and the suffix -algia indicates pain, so metatarsalgia simply means pain in the metatarsals region. That is definitely really meaningless as a medical diagnosis since the pain would be due to, literally, 100’s of different things. To use the word metatarsalgia is like using the expression ‘sore knee’. It is not a diagnosis and is merely a non-specific word for pain in the ball of the foot. This will be significant as having the diagnosis correct is absolutely significant and the first step to get the treatment correct. There isn't a treatment for metatarsalgia. There's treatment for the various disorders that cause pain around the metatarsals.
Quite possibly the most common reason for pain in this region is a disorder referred to as a plantar plate tear. The plantar plate is a strong ligament plantar to joints in the ball of the feet that give stableness to the joint and secure it. When there is too high a level of exercise and the toes get retracted or dorsiflexed too much, then that ligament could get strained producing is what is referred to as plantar plate dysfunction . If that stress continues on then a small tear could happen in the ligament. Another reason for symptoms is this place can be what is called sesamoiditis which is some inflammation of the tissue surrounding the small sesamoid bones on the base of the great toe. Sesamoiditis is usually due to excessive force on those bones, resulting in the inflammation. Simply from these two examples it ought to be apparent that they are two completely different problems that could get lumped under that pointless word, metatarsalgia. The therapy of these two problems are completely different, so it really should be obvious why that phrase really should not be made use of.