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What Causes Ball of Foot Pain?

Foot & ankle specialists

The ball of the foot, also known as the metatarsal region, plays a crucial role in supporting body weight and facilitating movement. When you experience pain in this area, it can significantly affect your mobility and daily activities. Understanding the causes of ball of foot pain is essential in order to seek proper treatment and find relief. Here are some common factors that contribute to this type of foot pain:

  1. Metatarsalgia: Metatarsalgia refers to pain and inflammation in the ball of the foot. It can be caused by various factors such as excessive pressure on the metatarsal bones, wearing ill-fitting shoes, high-impact activities, or foot deformities like hammertoes or bunions.

  2. Morton's Neuroma: Morton's neuroma is a condition that occurs when a nerve in the ball of the foot becomes irritated or compressed. It often leads to sharp, burning pain and a feeling of a lump or thickening in the affected area.

  3. Sesamoiditis: Sesamoiditis is an overuse injury that affects the sesamoid bones located beneath the big toe joint. It is commonly caused by activities that involve repetitive stress or pressure on the ball of the foot, such as running or dancing.

  4. Footwear Choices: Wearing high-heeled shoes or shoes with inadequate cushioning and support can put excessive pressure on the ball of the foot, leading to pain and discomfort.

  5. Stress Fractures: Stress fractures can occur in the metatarsal bones due to repeated stress or overuse. They can cause significant pain in the ball of the foot and may require rest and immobilization for proper healing.

If you are experiencing ball of foot pain, it is important to consult a podiatrist or foot specialist for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. They can assess your symptoms, perform a physical examination, and recommend interventions such as orthotic inserts, footwear modifications, physical therapy, or other therapeutic options.

By addressing the underlying causes and receiving timely treatment, you can alleviate ball of foot pain and regain your comfort and mobility.

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