Metatarsalgia is a frequent cause of pain in the ball of the foot. The ball is right behind your big toe on the bottom of your foot, and it takes on a large portion of the pressure from your body as you walk, run, or even stand. Subsequently, this part of the foot is more susceptible to injury, especially in the area where the three middle toes come together in the middle of the foot.
Factors that are involved in the development of metatarsalgia and other problems in the ball of the foot include the following:
- Poorly-fitting shoes—Footwear with a narrow toe box such as high heeled shoes, and sneakers that are overly worn or that don’t provide the correct support and cushioning will exacerbate this condition.
- Fractures— in the metatarsal bones will cause pain in the ball of the foot.
- Being overweight—puts more stress on the ball of the foot.
- Morton’s neuroma—A neuroma is a mass of fibrous tissue that often occurs between the third and fourth metatarsal bones, causing severe pain and discomfort.
- Genetic component—People who have high arches, or a second toe that is longer than the big toe are more likely to experience pain in the ball of the foot.
Treatments for pain in the ball of the foot
These will include rest, wearing proper footwear, and using custom orthotic inserts and pads to relieve much of the pain and discomfort. If you still have painful symptoms after two or three weeks, further evaluation may be needed to eliminate the source of the pain.
Metatarsalgia and other ball of the foot problems can create radiating issues in your knees, hips, and back so it is in your best interests to have your feet evaluated and properly treated by a podiatrist to help avoid further complications.
At Your Next Step, our team of board-certified podiatrists has access to advanced technologies, along with years of experience, to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, including sports injuries, joint pain, toe deformities, nail fungus, chronic tendon pain, and skin problems. Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich, and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen provide high-quality foot and ankle care to patients in the greater Philadelphia area at our offices conveniently located in Ardmore, Paoli, and Downingtown, PA. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.