Pain in the ball of the foot can be caused my many different conditions. If you have been told it is 'metatarsalgia' then read on...Metatarsalgia is an umbrella term used to describe pain in the region of the ball of the foot, but the true diagnosis is often more specific.
Why do I get pain in my forefoot?
Pain in the ball of the foot can be caused by a variety of conditions, some of which can be quite serious if left untreated. This is why it is so important to see a Podiatrist if you are experiencing pain in this area. They can help you determine the cause of your pain and develop a treatment plan to help you manage it.
Here is an in-depth explanation of some of the more common conditions that can cause pain in the ball of the foot:
Plantar Plate Tears: The plantar plate is a thick band of tissue that connects the toes to the bones in the foot. It helps to stabilise the toes and keep them in proper alignment. A tear in the plantar plate can cause pain and instability in the affected toe.
Metatarsal Stress Fractures: The metatarsals are the long bones that run from the middle of your foot to the toes. Stress fractures can occur when these bones are overworked or subjected to repetitive stress. They can cause pain and swelling in the ball of the foot.
Morton's Neuroma: A Morton's neuroma is a benign growth of nerve tissue that can develop between the bones in the ball of the foot. It can cause pain, tingling, burning and numbness in the affected area.
Forefoot Bursitis: Bursitis is inflammation of the small fluid-filled sacs that cushion the joints in the foot. Inflammation of the bursa in the forefoot can cause pain and tenderness in the ball of the foot.
Joint Capsulitis: Joint capsulitis is a condition that affects the ligaments that surround the joints in the foot. It can cause pain, stiffness, and limited range of motion in the affected joint.
Bunions: A bunion is a bony growth that develops within the big toe. It can cause pain and discomfort in the ball of the foot as the forces from walking are directed to the smaller toe joints.
Hammer toes: A hammer toe is a condition in which the toe is permanently bent at the middle joint. It can cause pain and discomfort in the ball of the foot by increasing pressure through the small toe joints.
Corns: A corn is a thick, painful callus that develops on the skin of the foot. They can occur on the top or bottom of the foot and can be very painful.
Arthritis: Arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation and degeneration of the joints. It can cause pain and stiffness in the ball of the foot.
To treat these conditions, a Podiatrist may recommend a combination of treatments such as:
-Foot strengthening exercises
-Footwear advice and education
-Custom made orthotics
-Construct padding or metatarsal domes to change the biomechanical functioning of the toe joints
-Hands on therapy
-Injections to reduce pain and swelling
-Referral for scans to accurately assess and diagnose your condition
It is important to note that the treatment plan will vary depending on the specific condition and the severity of the symptoms. It is important to see a Podiatrist at Bayswater Foot and Ankle Clinic if you are experiencing pain in the ball of the foot so that they can accurately diagnose the condition and develop an appropriate treatment plan.
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