I’m Having This Pain at the Ball of My Foot

At Advanced Foot and Ankle Center, one common complaint we hear is pain at the ball of the foot.  Today, we are going to discuss some of the more common reasons for this type of pain.

Sometimes the pain is due to lack of fat pad and the bones are just tired and sore.  With every step you take, the ball of the foot takes on your body weight to help roll you forward.  When we loose this fat pad, nature’s protection of this area is gone.

Another reason for this type of pain can come from your foot structure.  Your foot has 5 metatarsal bones.  These bones connect the middle of the foot to the toes.  The heads of these metatarsal bones are technically the ball of the foot.  Sometimes because of genetics or previous injuries, these bones point downward more than they should.  This then causes extra pressure in this area and causes pain.  This can also cause a very painful callus to the ball of the foot called an intractable plantar keratosis which is like a seed corn causing pinpoint pain.  Some people will also have a painful callus to the area but is caused by a wart and not pressure. 

In between those metatarsal bones are nerves that eventually reach the toes and give them sensation.  Sometimes that nerve can be pinched at the ball of the foot and cause fullness, soreness, tingling and numbness.

There are also soft tissue structures surrounding the ball of the foot that connect the toe bone to the metatarsal bone.  These structures can become inflamed from either an injury or overuse and cause pain at the ball of the foot.

Speaking of overuse, some people can develop stress fractures or bone cysts due to repetitive trauma at the metatarsal heads.

As you can see, there are many causes of pain at the ball of the foot.  Your diagnosis will be made after a thorough history, physical exam and medical images if needed.  Once your diagnosis is made, treatment will begin that will be tailored to your condition and lifestyle. 

At Advanced Foot and Ankle Center, our providers have treated thousands of patients with ball of the foot pain and we can help you as well.  If you are experiencing this or any other type of foot/ankle condition, please call us at 972-542-2155

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