The balls of your feet—those padded areas on the bottom of your feet between the toes and the arch—are surprisingly complex under the surface. Five long metatarsal bones occupy a tight space with a pair of sesamoid bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves, and blood vessels. Considering how much stress and impact force this area of the foot must endure, pain is unsurprisingly common.
While temporary aches are fairly normal, persistent pain is a sign that something deeper is wrong and requires further examination and treatment.
Symptoms of Ball of Foot Pain
Pain in this region of the foot is also known as metatarsalgia, which is a “catch-all” term that covers the symptoms of many different types of conditions and injuries. Some of the most common symptoms include:
Pain that can be described as sharp, burning, aching, stabbing, or shooting
Symptoms worsen with activity and improve somewhat with rest
Tingling or numbness that extends into the toes
Feeling like you’re constantly standing on a small pebble or fold in your sock
The pain is usually centered near the base of the big toe—to be specific, around the head of the first long metatarsal bone. That’s because this is the part of the ball that handles the greatest amount of weight and force when you walk, run, and jump.
What Causes Ball of Foot Pain?
There are dozens of potential underlying factors and causes that could lead to metatarsalgia. When you come for your appointment, we’ll help you ascertain the most likely culprits. Some of the most common include:
Structural problems with the feet, such as flat arches, bunions, hammertoes, or abnormally long metatarsal bones.
Participation in high-impact sports (running and jumping), dance, or occupations that require you to be on your feet constantly
Rapid increase in physical activity or change in training routine
Wearing poorly fitting shoes (especially high heels)
Development of stress fractures in the metatarsal bones
Formation of a neuroma (swollen nerve tissue) near the base of the toes
Inflammation or fracture of the sesamoids, small bones that act like pulleys for your big toe
How to Treat Ball of Foot Pain
If pain is severe, disrupting your activities, or lingers for longer than a week or so, you should make an appointment with the Dallas Podiatry Works team. An examination and discussion with your physician (using X-rays if necessary) will help reveal both treatment methods and prevention strategies that may be beneficial.
Most cases and causes of metatarsalgia can be corrected through conservative therapies, such as:
RICE therapy (rest, ice, compression, elevation)
Temporarily avoiding activities that cause spikes in pain
Wearing more appropriate shoes
Using metatarsal pads, arch supports, taping or splinting the big toe, custom orthotics, or other inserts as necessary to relieve pain and pressure
Over-the-counter pain relievers
Occasionally, surgery may be required to correct an underlying structural problem, such as a bunion or flat feet, or to remove a neuroma. This will reduce the pressure on the balls of the feet to eliminate the pain.
Pain in the balls of the feet must be addressed if they are slowing you down. To begin your path to healing and recovery, call Dallas Podiatry Works at 972.853.7100.
Your Top-Rated Podiatrist in the Dallas & Fort Worth Metroplex
The doctor has great “bedside manners” when talking to patients. Great staff and comfortable atmosphere.
The staff at Dallas Podiatry Works could not have been more courteous, helpful, and professional in doing their job. They made me feel comfortable when I was there, which is certainly appreciated. They answered all the questions that I had and just made each visit the most pleasurable that it could be. I would highly recommend them to anyone needing this type of foot care.
I would highly recommend Dr. Brook to anyone with foot problems–especially problems that stump other podiatrists. He really is very caring and very knowledgeable.
Dr. Joel Brook and the staff were nice and helpful. Though I was a new patient, I got right in as soon as they were open in my preferred location. They diagnosed the problem and provided medicines along with a perfect gel bandage so I could keep exercising while my toes healed. My toes already hurt less and look a little better each day. If I have future issues, I will be a repeat customer. Here’s hoping I don’t, but at least I know my feet are in good hands.
I visited this office for an ingrown toe nail a few years ago. After seeing another doctor, who made it worse, he referred me to Dallas Podiatry Works. The doctor there was able to fix my problem. I’m not great with reviews, all I can tell you is that this doctor and staff will have you up and running or doing whatever it is you do in no time. You will be in great hands. You’d be a fool not to use this doctor. Now its time to visit him again for the other toe.
Been having bad ankle pains for 6 months was referred here and it was a great visit ladies in the front desk medical assistants and the Doctor were all very friendly and make you feel very comfortable.
Come experience Dallas Podiatry Works of Dallas, TX and Plano, TX! You will see for yourself that our
podiatrists, foot doctors and foot specialists provide 5-star-rated foot care in Dallas TX, Plano TX, Frisco TX, McKinney TX,
Richardson TX, Garland TX, Rockwall TX, Allen TX, Arlington TX and Fort Worth TX. Call 972.853.7100 today.