Metatarsalgia (MET – tuh tar – SAL – juh) is a catch-all term used to describe a number of conditions which cause pain in the . “Metatarsal” is the name for the long bones in the foot and the suffix “algia” means pain. This term appropriately describes the condition of pain in the metatarsal area. The heads of the central metatarsals, 2, 3 and 4, make up what most consider the ball of the foot and they are the most commonly affected. Due to excess pressure, overuse and/or microtrauma, one or more of the heads of the metatarsals become inflamed and painful.