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Ball of Foot PainMuch of the weight of your body is supported by the metatarsal bones in your foot. This area is located between the arch of the foot and the toes. When these bones become inflamed or irritated, it can cause mild to intense pain. This is known as metatarsalgia. Pain in this area can make it difficult to walk and function on a day to day basis.
Causes of Ball of Foot PainPeople who are active or participate in sports are susceptible to metatarsalgia, especially with activities that involve running and jumping. It is often associated with overuse. Pressure around the metatarsals can also cause ball of foot pain, which can happen from wearing constrictive footwear and high heels. Prior injuries to the foot ligaments and joints can also cause metatarsalgia. Being overweight is also a risk factor for all kinds of foot pain.
Symptoms of Ball of Foot PainPain between the toes and the arch of the foot is an indication of metatarsalgia. The pain may get worse with activity or when flexing the foot, and improve once you rest. A number of patients may experience pain and numbness around the toes as well. Some individuals feel as though they have a small rock in their show when walking.
Treatment for Ball of Foot PainAs with any injury, your doctor will be the best source of advice on the appropriate treatment method for your situation. As with most joint pain, the first course of action is to abstain from activities that increase pain and to ice your foot. Anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen and aspirin can be used to help reduce irritation and stress. Sometimes physical therapy is advised so you can learn stretching and strengthening exercises for your foot.
Your doctor may also recommend that you wear proper footwear. This may include purchasing new shoes and possible insoles and orthotics. Ankle braces that support the foot may also be used, such as the Aircast Airlift. It helps cushion the arch of your foot which may help in relieving ball of foot pain. Usually conservative treatments will alleviate metatarsalgia, but if these do not work your doctor may suggest surgical options.