Metatarsalgia is an inflammatory condition of the metatarsal heads in your forefoot while Morton’s Neuroma is an inflammation or enlargement of the sheath surrounding the nerves that supply your toes. Both are common causes of forefoot pain.
Metatarsalgia is defined by a bruised feeling in the ball of your foot. Morton’s Neuroma on the other hand, typically presents as pain or numbness of the middle to outside toes. The pain can be burning, sharp and agonizing, intermittent or constant.
Some of the causes of forefoot pain include having a fallen arch, rigid high arch feet, flexible flat feet, individual/muscular factors, and wearing high-heeled shoes. Ballerinas, sprinters, and football players tend me be more vulnerable.
With Metatarsalgia, most cases respond to conservative care. Good running shoes, insoles, or orthotics with forefoot cushioning and icing will help to decrease inflammation. With Morton’s Neuroma, custom orthotics with a metatarsal pad will help to improve your mechanics and alleviate pain so surgery can hopefully be avoided.