Metatarsalgia is an acute or chronic pain in ball of the foot where the ends of the metatarsal bones are located. Any of the five metatarsal bones can be a source of pain. Pain in the ball of the foot is the most common symptom of metatarsalgia. You may feel as if you are standing on a stone. Calluses will usually form in the area of pain and the ball of your foot may be red and swollen. Anything that puts pressure on the bones in the ball of your foot can cause metatarsalgia. A rigid, high-arched foot, or arthritis, can lead to metatarsalgia. Other causes include wearing shoes with high heels and thin soles and also standing or walking on hard surfaces for extended periods of time.