Pain within the ball of the foot is a common problem and could be as a consequence of many different conditions. Commonly the phrase, metatarsalgia is used with this problem however that term is extremely pointless as it is like just saying that you have a sore hip. The discomfort that gets lumped under this term might range from a basic corn of your skin beneath the ball of the foot to a fatigue fracture of the metatarsal bone to a nerve entrapment to an osteoarthritis type problem. All of these conditions happen to be completely different to each other and each of them has to be handled differently and possess unique final results. From this it has to be obvious why the term metatarsalgia is not a very good word, just like stating the hip is painful.
Diagnosing the various causes of pain within the ball of the foot may be a challenge as a number of the disorders can have equivalent discomforts during the early phases. For this reason an experienced clinician is normally needed to get the diagnosis right so the correct treatment may be directed at it as well as time and money is not lost pursing an inappropriate diagnosis. Some conditions like a plantar plate tear that is a common reason for pain in the ball of the feet have a number of clinical assessments that can be done to help determine if this is the problem. Others like a fatigue fracture of the bone is going to require imaging to get the diagnosis appropriate. Joint disease like issues are tough to diagnose in the early stages and it can be a case of just waiting around to discover the way the issue progresses. Generally the diagnosis of those kind of problems can be a matter of ruling out the other concerns like a plantar plate tear or pinched nerve with the clinical examinations and x-ray. If you have pain under the ball of the foot, then go to a competent podiatrist and get the diagnosis correct.