SymptomsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Symptoms of metatarsalgia may include:
- Sharp, aching or burning pain in the ball of your foot — the part of the sole just behind your toes
- Pain in the area around your second, third or fourth toes — or, only near your big toe
- 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
- Pain that worsens when you flex your feet
- A feeling in your feet as if you're walking with a pebble in your shoe
- Increased pain when you're walking barefoot, especially on a hard surface
Sometimes these symptoms develop suddenly — especially if you've recently increased your usual amount of running, jumping or other high-impact exercise — but problems usually develop over time.
When to see a doctor
Not all foot problems need medical care. Sometimes your feet simply ache after a long day of standing or a punishing workout. But it's best not to ignore any foot pain that lasts more than a few days. Talk to your doctor if you experience a burning pain in the ball of your foot that doesn't improve after changing your shoes and modifying your activities.
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