Ball of the foot pain is a pain! Of course, it is a pain because it hurts but it is also a pain because it can be several different things. That is why when you have pain in the ball of your foot that you should go see your friendly local podiatrist to find out exactly what you need to do to be pain free.
Ball of the foot pain is also called metatarsalgia. That is because the bones that run through the foot from the toes are called the metatarsal bones. The toe bones are the phalanges and the phalanges connect to the metatarsals. (Remember, one quarter of the bones in the body are in the feet. So there are lots of bones there!) Along with all those bones, there is a network of ligaments, tendons and nerves. Your feet are very complex!
So when you have ball of the foot pain. It could be due to many things. To give you a brief list, it could be due to Morton’s neuroma, or capsulitis, or high arches, there could be a foreign body lodged in your foot, it could be cross over toe, hammer toe, or a metatarsal stress fracture. How can you tell which it is? You can get a hint but the best relief will come from your friendly local podiatrist. The doctors are trained to ask you questions about your pain that will help them with the diagnosis. They will also look and feel your feet. They may need for you to have an x-ray of your foot or a CT scan. The x-ray will show them the alignment of the bones in your foot and the CT scan will show them any soft tissue issues that may be present.
To prepare for your appointment, you may want to think about the following questions.
1. What kind of pain are you experiencing? Is it a sharp shooting pain or a dull throb? Do you find there are times when it doesn’t hurt or doesn’t hurt as much?
2. Can you tell where the pain is? Does it seem to be all over your foot or is it mostly in one spot? Does it hurt by some toes more than others?
3. Does your foot look enflamed or feel hot in certain spots?
4. When do you feel the most pain? How it is when you get out of bed in the morning? Does it hurt more by the end of the day? Does it hurt at night when you are in bed?
5. Does it hurt more or less when you walk barefoot?
6. Do some shoes hurt more than others?
7. Does it hurt more when you stand on your toes?
The solution to some ball of the foot issues can be as simple as wearing different shoes. By going to see your friendly local podiatrist, you will find the solution for your form of metatarsalgia. (Sometimes I am just driven to use big words. I am not sure why. After all, don’t I sound better using metatarsalgia than foot pain?)
Really, the faster pain goes away, the better. There are no prizes for living with pain when you don’t need to.