Ball of the foot pain, also known as metatarsalgia, refers to discomfort and inflammation affecting the slightly padded areas just past the toes on the bottoms of your feet. Often brought on by repetitive strain and injury from frequent running or jumping, pain in this area can also be chalked up to ill-fitting footwear, being overweight, arthritis, gout, hammertoes, calluses, Morton’s neuroma, and other foot deformities.
On its own, metatarsalgia can feel debilitating. Yet, without care, the pain can worsen and go on to cause dysfunction and discomfort in other parts of the body, such as the back or hip.
Based on your metatarsalgia’s underlying cause, our podiatrist will develop an individualized treatment plan. Conservative treatment is often the first step in care. Measures such as rest, the application of ice, a change in footwear, and the use of a metatarsal pad and/or arch supports can provide relief. Over-the-counter medication and therapeutic injections can also help reduce inflammation and relieve pain. In a few situations, when non-invasive approaches do not alleviate the problem, surgical treatment to address the associated conditions, such as a foot deformity, a bony prominence, and other contributing factors, is considered.