The term 'metatarsalgia' refers to pain in the sole of the foot. This can be associated with swelling and/or numbness depending on the cause.
The sole of the foot is formed by the long metatarsal bones in the foot meeting the toes. The ends, or 'heads' of the metatarsal bones are vulnerable because they carry so much weight and pressure during walking and running.
Metatarsalgia is usually effectively treated with a combination of rest, orthotics (modified shoes) and physiotherapy. In more prolonged cases of metatarsalgia, steroid injections can help relieve inflammation and pain. Very rarely, surgery is required to relieve pain.