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Metatarsalgia is a general term used to refer to any painful foot condition affecting the metatarsal region of the foot. Metatarsalgia is most often localized to either the first metatarsal head (the ball of the foot just behind the big toe), where there are two small sesamoid bones which can become irritated, or the second metatarsal; this can be due to either too short a first metatarsal bone or to "hypermobility of the first ray" (metatarsal bone + medial cuneiform bone behind it), both of which result in excess pressure being transmitted into the second metatarsal head.

A combination of treatments including insoles or orthoses can relieve this painful condition.