We’ve talked a lot about what problems could be developing if you’re experiencing pain in your heel, but we haven’t done an in-depth look at conditions that are characterized by pain in the ball of your foot. So that’s the focus of today’s blog. Below, we take a look at some conditions you may be dealing with if you’re bothered by chronic pain in the ball of your foot.
Ball of Foot Pain
Pain in the ball of your foot is one of the more common problems people have when a foot condition sets in. That being said, pain in the ball of the foot isn’t always caused by the same condition. Here’s a look at a few conditions whose symptoms may include ball of foot pain.
Metatarsalgia – Metatarsalgia is a common foot problem among highly active individuals, especially athletes who partake in high impact sports that involve running and jumping. This condition sets in when an injury causes inflammation in the metatarsal, located in the ball of your foot. The metatarsal bones join with the toes to the foot, and metatarsalgia typically affects the metatarsal heads where the three middle toes meet the ball of the foot. Treatments include ice, rest, anti-inflammatory medications and changing exercise habits to lessen the impact on feet (switching from running to swimming or cycling).
Morton’s Neuroma – Another condition that can involve pain in the ball of your foot is called Morton’s Neuroma. This condition occurs when the nerve that supplies sensation to the area between the toes becomes damaged and begins to thicken, which compresses the nerve and can lead to numbness or a tingling sensation. Sometimes it also involves benign growths on the nerve, and while they aren’t cancerous, they can be very painful. Foot surgeons will try a number of different non-surgical approaches including custom orthotics, physical therapy, footwear changes and injections before moving on to surgical relief.
Sesamoiditis – There are two bones called sesamoids that are near your big toe that are connected only by tendons. If these tendons become damaged, injured or inflamed, it is known as sesamoiditis, and it presents itself with pain in the ball of your foot. This condition is more common in people who put excessive stress on their big toe and the front of their foot, like dancers and runners. Similar to metatarsalgia, treatment involves rest, anti-inflammatory medications, footwear changes and steroid injections.
At the end of the day, all these conditions can benefit from targeted non-operative treatment methods, but surgery is not out of the picture. To have the best chance to avoid surgery if you are experiencing pain in the ball of your foot, head into a specialist’s office. We can help pinpoint your exact condition and get you back on the road to recovery. For more information, or to ask Dr. Silverman about a specific foot condition, contact him in the text box below.