“On Your Feet!” Ball of Foot Pain

By Christopher M. Cole, L.Ped

"On Your Feet!" Ball of Foot Pain Do you experience pain in the ball of your foot?  Ball of foot pain is a general term to denote a painful condition in the area just before the toes in the metatarsal region of the foot. These bones equally share the weight of a person during walking and daily activities. So, extreme pain in this area can be a major hindrance to your life.  The good news?  These are common conditions, and are often able to be treated with simply the right footwear.

If you’re experiencing ball of foot pain, you might be suffering from one of two common foot conditions.

Metatarsalgia is an inflammatory condition of the metatarsal heads of the foot, while Morton’s Neuroma is a fibrosis around the neurovascular bundle of the nerves that supply the toes.  Both cause pain in the fore foot region.

Metatarsalgia is simply an inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs  which are located under each of the lesser metatarsal heads. Those who suffer with Metatarsalgia get a bruised feeling in the ball of their foot.  The pain is usually located right about where a ‘knuckle’ of the foot would be located, on the underside of the foot but it may also radiate over the foot and sometimes up
the calf.

The most common cause of metatarsalgia pain is an imbalance in the long bones of the foot, and is often caused from improper fitting footwear. Other causes include arthritis, diabetes (which can cause nerve-type pain in the foot), calluses, or skin lesions that cause the weight on the foot be unevenly distributed.  It can also be caused by sports that place tremendous pounding on the ball of the foot, or shoes with small toe boxes that cramp your toes.

Another painful foot condition that many people suffer from is called Morton’s Neuroma. This typically presents a pain or numbness on the bottom of the middle-to-outside of the forefoot, which often radiates into the 3rd and 4th toe. This condition is a swollen or thickened nerve in the ball of your foot. When your toes are squeezed together too often and for too long, the nerve that runs between your toes can swell and get thicker. This swelling can make it painful when you walk on that foot.

Morton’s Neuroma cause a very painful burning or sharp pain in your foot that feels worse when you walk. It may feel like a small lump inside the ball of your foot. It is usually between the third and fourth toes, but it can also be between other toes.

High-heeled, tight, or narrow shoes can make pain worse. Sometimes, changing to shoes that give your toes more room can help the symptoms of Morton’s Neuroma.  An arch support or orthotic are also often recommended for treatment, as it helps alleviate the pressure from the inflamed nerves.

Both Metatarsalgia and Morton’s Neuroma can be extremely painful or uncomfortable.  Remember, the foot acts as an interface between the ground and the forces of the body.  It becomes a brake when the heel strikes the ground, and becomes a propeller at toe push-off. In between these two stages, the foot acts as a shock absorber for the body.  So, when either of these areas are inflamed or causing pain, it has an effect on the entire body.

Your feet take a beating, every day. If they start to hurt, you need to take that foot pain and any other problems seriously. Foot health is very important to our everyday lives, so don’t tiptoe around it’s importance.

The trained specialists at Foot Solutions of Estero enhance clients quality of living by custom fitting them for shoes that support almost any foot type and lifestyle. Each fitting begins with a free  foot analysis, followed by digital foot scans, and a balance  analysis. Afterward, Foot Solutions’ staff unveils a selection of casual, business, and running shoes. The shop also stocks a wide variety of comfort sandals, designed to support and relieve discomfort caused by ill-fitting footwear. In addition to shoe fittings, Foot Solutions team relieves pain using custom made orthotics and arch supports while also offering infrared light therapy treatments to improve circulation and healing.

Talk to your Foot Solutions specialist today. Call 239-495-8911 or stop by Foot Solutions of Estero, 21301 S. Tamiami Trail (Corner of US41 & Corkscrew Rd – next to Publix).

Christopher M. Cole, L.Ped

Chris is a Licensed Board Certified Pedorthist and owner of Foot Solutions Estero, a BOC Accredited Facility. Chris graduated from  Clemson  University and has taken advanced course study in Mass Position Theory, CAD/CAM Technology for Prescription Foot Orthotics, Pedorthic Care of Diabetic Foot, Heel Pain Syndrome, Obesity among older Americans, Fall Prevention, and Shoe Construction and Modification.

Foot Solutions Estero
(239) 495-8911
www.footsolutions.com

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