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What is Ball of Foot Pain?

Ball of Foot Pain (Metatarsalgia) is a term used to describe general pain in the ball of the foot - the area on the bottom of your foot, just behind the toes and in front of the arch.

Treatment Indicator

Amber: You can treat this condition yourself BUT you should seek professional help if you want reassurance that what you are doing is the best approach for you.

Some Common Causes of Ball of Foot Pain

  • The incorrect alignment of the metatarsal bones in your feet - they are the bones that are the equivalent of the ones leading to your knuckles in your hands.
  • If you have Diabetes, or another condition that affects the whole of your body such as arthritis, it can cause this condition.
  • An unstable foot which causes an imbalance in the bones of the foot more especially in the front part of your feet.
  • A fracture of one or more of the metatarsal bones. An enlarged or deformed metatarsal bone.
  • Callus or hard skin that can cause your weight to be distributed in an uneven manner.
  • The onset of old age with which comes many problems, such as the thinning of muscles and the fat pad on the bottom of your feet.
  • Ill fitting shoes especially those with narrow or thin front parts.
  • Overuse of your feet such as playing too much sport.

The Main Symptoms of Ball of Foot Pain

  • Pain in the general area around the ball of the foot.
  • Discomfort when wearing footwear.
  • Increased pain when performing activities such as running or jogging etc.

Treatment Suggestions

  • Corrective Devices (Orthotics) - these will help realign your feet and allow the pressure you feel as you run or walk to be directed towards the outside of your feet where it should be felt.
  • Use non-corrective devices such as gel insoles and other cushioning devices to help ease the pressure.
  • Metatarsal pads are very useful. If the causes were to do with the actual bone structure, for example, if one of your metatarsals were abnormally long, then maybe surgery would help.
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