Learning More About Podiatrist Care

What's Causing The Soreness In The Ball Of Your Foot?

Pain or soreness in the ball of your foot can make it difficult to walk, let alone enjoy activities like running and playing sports. There are several possible causes of discomfort in this area. Here's a look at the most likely culprits.

Morton's Neuroma

Is the pain concentrated in the area between your third and fourth toes? Does it often feel like you're stepping on a stone or like you have something in your shoe? If so, you may be suffering from a condition known as Morton's neuroma. This ailment arises when the tissue around the nerve that passes though the ball of your foot becomes swollen and irritated, causing it to put pressure on that nerve.

Morton's neuroma is often caused by wearing high heels or shoes that are too narrow in the toe area. It's common in those who do a lot of running and jumping, too. If you think you may have Morton's neuroma, switch to flat shoes, consider purchasing shoes that are wider in the toe, and take a few days off from activities like running and working out. Try icing your foot a few times a day to alleviate inflammation. If your symptoms don't subside in a week or so, see a podiatrist. He or she can recommend specialized orthotics to take pressure off the ball of your foot. In serious cases, you may need a cortisone injection to alleviate the swelling and take pressure of the nerve.

Stress Fractures

If you're an athlete or someone who engages in a lot of running or other high-impact activity, then it's possible that you're suffering from a stress fracture in one of the metatarsal bones that run though the ball of your foot. Usually, the pain of a stress fracture becomes worse the more time you spend on your feet. If you touch your foot in a certain area, it may feel very sore and sensitive. You may also notice some swelling and redness.

If you suspect that you may have a stress fracture, see a podiatrist right away. He or she can take x-rays to confirm the diagnosis. Treatment will involve taking several weeks off from high-impact activities, though you should be able to continue low-impact exercise like swimming and biking. Usually, you won't have to wear a cast when healing a stress fracture, though you may need to wear a protective boot for a few weeks. Icing the injury and taking NSAIDs will help keep you comfortable.

Don't ignore pain in the ball of your foot. It's likely due to Morton's neuroma or a stress fracture, both of which are treatable. For more information, contact Jeffrey M Marks DPM or a similar medical professional.