Why Does the Ball of My Foot Hurt

Ball of foot pain is called metatarsalgia which is a common umbrella term for symptoms occurring at the end of the metatarsal bones (the bones right behind your toes). There can be many causes of metatarsalgia, and it’s important to see your podiatrist for a proper diagnosis.

Metatarsalgia presents with pain and inflammation under the ball of the foot. Pain may be dull or sharp and usually worsens with exercise or after long periods of time on your feet. Unfortunately, the ball of the foot is where standing and moving put the most pressure and it is difficult to avoid straining this area.

Ball of foot pain can be caused by:

  • Increased physical activity
  • Having a second toe that is longer than your big toe
  • High arches
  • Hammertoes
  • Bunions
  • Obesity
  • Wearing high heels or underpadded shoes
  • Arthritis
  • Morton’s Neuroma

After diagnosing the cause of your metatarsalgia, your podiatrist may recommend some of the following treatments. Resting your foot and icing for 20 minutes after activity may help alleviate pain and swelling. Stretching before and after activity can help increase flexibility and strength. 

Shoe changes are especially important if you want to stay active. Avoid high heels and make sure shoes are padded beneath your midfoot and forefoot. Use custom orthotic inserts to correct your stance and gait and align the ankles, knees, and hips. 

Metatarsalgia caused by a Morton’s neuroma can be helped with the use of steroid injections.

If a hammertoe or bunion is causing your metatarsalgia, your foot and ankle surgeon might recommend a surgical solution.

Ball of foot pain can be debilitating if left untreated. Visit your podiatrist today for a full treatment plan customized to your specific needs.

Leave a reply