There are many reasons why you could have pain on the ball of the foot. Like any foot pain, it’s best not to ignore it if it’s been present for at least a couple of weeks. If you are limping because of pain on the ball of your foot it’s even more important to consult with a specialist quickly.
Joint pain, tendonitis, strained ligaments, calluses and an enlarged nerve are just a few of the conditions that can cause pain in this area. The exact location of the pain is often an indication of what condition is present. For instance, pain near the 3rd and 4th toes is often from a condition called a Neuroma.
There’s a particular common condition on the ball of the foot that afflicts women mostly over 40 years old. The pain comes from the area just next to the big toe joint. The complaint is often of feeling like “walking on a ball.” It hurts more without shoes on.
This type of pain can happen in conjunction with the 2nd toe starting to separate from the 3rd toe. If left undiscovered and untreated a tear can occur requiring surgery as the only option. We’ve had many patients need surgery for this condition because they simply waited too long to see a specialist.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- Wear shoes or sandals with a cushioned sole
- Don’t go barefoot
- Avoid exercises that put pressure on this area
- Use ice and an OTC anti-inflammatory
- Don’t waste money on over-the counter pads or inserts
WHAT WE CAN DO
- Thoroughly evaluate to determine the exact location of the pain
- X-Ray to determine if a bone or joint problem exists
- Recommend the easiest and fastest solution
- Educate you on long-term prevention
- Order and MRI if a tear is suspected