Metatarsalgia is a general term used to denote pain under the ball-of-the-foot. (the area just before the toes) This is a very common problem and one of the top three complaints we treat. Metatarsalgia (ball-of-foot-pain) is often located under the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th metatarsal heads, or more isolated at the first metatarsal head (near the big toe). Metatarsalgia usually responds very quickly to proper treatment. It can almost always be treated conservatively and surgery is rarely necessary.