BALL OF FOOT PAIN
What is Ball of Foot Pain?
Ball of foot pain also known as metatarsalgia is an injury to the ball of the foot. There are many different injuries you can get to the ball of the foot and many reasons for them
Symptoms of Ball of Foot Pain
- Sharp, aching or burning pain in the ball of your foot — the part of the sole just behind your toes
- Pain that worsens when you stand, run, flex your feet or walk — especially barefoot on a hard surface — and improves when you rest
- Sharp or shooting pain, numbness, or tingling in your toes
- A feeling of having a pebble in your shoe
Causes for Ball of Foot Pain
- Intense training or activity. Distance runners are at risk of metatarsalgia, primarily because the front of the foot absorbs significant force when a person runs. But anyone who participates in a high-impact sport is at risk, especially if your shoes fit poorly or are worn.
- Certain foot shapes. A high arch can put extra pressure on the metatarsals. So can having a second toe that’s longer than the big toe, which causes more weight than normal to be shifted to the second metatarsal head. Flat feet also suffer from Foot pain.
- Foot deformities. Wearing too-small shoes or high heels can cause your foot to be misshapen. A downward-curling toe (hammertoe) and swollen, painful bumps at the base of your big toes (bunions) can cause metatarsalgia.
- Excess weight. Because most of your body weight transfers to your forefoot when you move, extra pounds mean more pressure on your metatarsals. Losing weight might reduce or eliminate symptoms.
- Poorly fitting shoes. High heels, which transfer extra weight to the front of your foot, are a common cause of metatarsalgia in women. Shoes with a narrow toe box or athletic shoes that lack support and padding also can contribute to the problem.
- Stress fractures. Small breaks in the metatarsals or toe bones can be painful and change the way you put weight on your foot.
- Morton’s neuroma. This noncancerous growth of fibrous tissue around a nerve usually occurs between the third and fourth metatarsal heads. It causes symptoms that are similar to metatarsalgia and can also contribute to metatarsal stress.
- Bursitis / Synovitis – This is a very common injury that occurs when the joint of the toes get inflamed.
When to see a podiatrist?
It’s best not to ignore foot pain that lasts more than a few days. Talk to your podiatrist if you have a burning pain in the ball of your foot that doesn’t improve after changing your shoes and modifying your activities.
Treatments for Ball of Foot Pain
The podiatrist might recommend arch supports to minimize stress on the metatarsal bones and improve foot function. You can buy arch support insoles over-the-counter, or they can be 3D custom fitted orthotics.
Strength work, anti inflammatories, hot and cold therapy, dry needling, manipulation, and hands on treatment may also come into play when treating a ball of the foot injury.
Is the treatment for Ball of Foot Pain covered by private health insurances?
Call us to find out whether ball of the foot injury treatment is covered by your private health care provider. There are a few things to consider with your private health fund such as your level of cover, your policy waiting periods, annual limits and fund rules. It is important to know what you are up for prior to your visits to avoid unwanted, expensive surprises.