Pain in the balls of the feet can really get in the way of life, when every step you take hurts.
The metatarsal bones, which are the long bones of the foot and toes, bear our weight when we walk and run.
If the heads of the metatarsal bones become inflamed, usually because of excessive pressure over time, it hurts!
- Sometimes it’s a result of age or perhaps a repetitive injury from sports or jogging.
- The fat on the bottom of our feet deteriorates over time. This causes you to feel like you are literally walking on ‘bone’….because you ARE!
- Health issues like arthritis or diabetes can be an underlying culprit.
- Or it might just be your shoes. Narrow or pointy shoes and ill-fitting shoes can put pressure on the metatarsals and cause this painful condition.
- There are also a few foot conditions that can cause metatarsalgia, like a foot neuroma, sesamoiditis, capsulitis or a callus.
While the exact treatment will depend on the cause, we typically use shoe inserts, semi custom or custom orthotics to distribute the weight more evenly and relieve the added pressure from the metatarsals.
Cushions or off-loading pads are available to help ease the pain, such as metatarsal cushion, metatarsal pad, felt-U protectors. Biofreeze is also very effective in decreasing the pain.
We’ll also talk to you about the type of shoes you wear and specific activities you normally engage in, to determine if they might be contributing to the problem. If there is an underlying cause such as a neuroma or arthritis, we’ll address that, too.
A foot neuroma is a pain in the ball of your foot, most often between the third and fourth toes, however, it can be present in between any of the toes.
Symptoms range from mere discomfort or feeling like there’s a rock in your shoe to searing pain or stinging.
Sesamoiditis is a type of tendonitis that occurs in those who spend a lot of time on their toes, namely runners, catchers in baseball and dancers.