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Bloomington (812) 333-4422
Bedford (812) 277-1000
Washington (812) 254-2911


 

What Could be Bothering the Ball of Your Foot?

What Could be Bothering the Ball of Your Foot?

The balls of your feet are like unsung heroes – they help you push off when you step, stand on your tippy toes, jump, and more, but they’re never paid much attention. Of course, all that changes when they start hurting and hindering you from doing things you enjoy!

Pain in the balls of your feet can result from a number of causes, but the two main culprits are metatarsalgia and Morton’s neuroma — which each have numerous causes of their own.

Metatarsalgia

The long bones in your feet that attach to your toes are called metatarsals, and when the ends of these bones become aggravated and inflamed, ball of foot pain ensues! What’s behind this irritation?

  • Repetitive stress, from running a lot of miles, for example, can irritate and even crack your metatarsal bones.
  • Excessive weight. Feet are carrying your body weight already, and extra weight can cause extra stress.
  • Toe deformities. If you have a bunion, or claw or hammertoes, this misalignment of joints and imbalance of muscle can put pressure on your metatarsal.
  • High-heeled shoes. This style of footwear forces your foot in a position that places all your weight on the balls of your feet — no wonder they hurt!
  • Arthritis. Swelling and stiffness of the joints between your toes and metatarsals can result in pain.
  • Diabetes. This condition is often associated with nerve damage in the feet which may cause symptoms of pain, tingling, numbness, and burning. Guess what else has similar symptoms? Morton’s neuroma!

Morton’s neuroma

This occurs when a nerve that runs between the metatarsal bones becomes thickened due to irritation. The result is numbness, tingling, burning, and pain in the ball of your foot, most often (but not always) affecting the area between the third and fourth toes.

Metatarsalgia and Morton’s neuroma are often found together, but can luckily be treated conservatively, with rest, a switch to roomier, lower-heeled shoes, orthotics, and breaking up activities with low-impact options like swimming and yoga. If these methods fail to provide relief, nerve decompression surgery may need to be considered. If you are struggling with ball of foot pain, call our Bloomington, IN office for an appointment today by dialing (812) 333-4422. We can get you the help you need!

Ball of Foot Pain: Staying Active with Morton’s Neuroma

The beauty around Bloomington, IN, provides a natural playground for a host of summer activities. When you have a day off, what do you like to do outdoors? Hiking, cycling, fishing, boating, and more are at your fingertips—you just need to get outside and go! If you have nagging pain in the ball of your foot though, traipsing around outside may be the last thing on your mind. It is possible you have an injury called Morton’s neuroma, but it doesn’t have to stop you from staying active.

Don't let a neuroma stop your activity

Morton’s neuroma involves an inflamed nerve in the ball of the foot, usually between the third and fourth toe. The pain and discomfort comes when it is being pressed on and aggravated by the surrounding bones. This injury can be caused by wearing ill-fitting shoes that put pressure on the ball of the foot, such as high heels. Being involved in an activity like running, which puts repetitive impact on the area, is also a culprit. Experiencing numbness in your toes or feeling a burning sensation in the ball of your foot are signs you may have Morton’s neuroma. It is typically treated with rest, ice, and avoiding high impact activities that accentuate the problem. You don’t have to give up all cardio, though, while your foot heals—you just want to avoid those with repetitive stress on your foot from striking the ground. Swimming, cycling, yoga, Pilates, and elliptical and rowing machines are all great substitutions when you need to give your feet a bit of a break.

If you are an athlete, you may be tempted to just push through the nerve pain, but if you have problems with your foot health, don’t play around. Many injuries and conditions only worsen without proper treatment, and leaving a problem until only surgery can repair it is a less than desirable outcome. Contact Kevin J. Powers, DPM for expert advice and effective treatment. Stop by our office in Bloomington, IN, or call (812) 333-4422 for an appointment today.

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