Podiatrists frequently refer to pain in the ball of the foot as metatarsalgia. This type of pain is often caused by genetics rather than an injury. People with high arches put more weight on the balls of their feet. Over time, that pressure can cause pain. People who have curled toes, a condition known as “hammertoes,” may also suffer from this type of pain because of the stress the curvature of the toes induces. Women who wear high heels may suffer from what Dr. Adriana Karpati calls the Double Whammy. Not only is the heel elevated, putting more weight on the ball of the foot, but also the toes are forced to curl to stabilize the foot. All of these conditions cause an atrophy of the fat pad underneath the foot, which is very important for cushion. There are many causes of pain in the ball of the foot that can lead to more serious problems like fractures. If you are suffering from this type of pain, you should have it diagnosed by a podiatrist right away.