Metatarsalgia occurs when one or more of the metatarsal heads become painful and/or inflamed, usually due to excessive pressure over a long period of time. It is common to experience acute, recurrent, or chronic pain with this common foot condition. This can inhibit the walking process and lead to extreme discomfort in the forefoot. Factors that can cause excessive pressure in the ball of foot include shoes with heels that are too high orparticipating in high impact activities without proper footwear and/or orthotics. Also as we get older, the fat pad in our foot tends to thin out, making us much more susceptible to pain in the ball of the foot. Orthotics designed to relieve ball of foot pain usually feature a metatarsal pad. The orthotic is constructed with the pad placed behind the ball of the foot to relieve pressure, and redistribute weight from the painful area to more tolerant areas.