Sharp pain in the ball of your foot is an indication that you may be suffering from a condition called metatarsalgia. This is a nerve condition that strikes when a nerve running between your metatarsal bones (the bones that extend from your toes to your ankles) becomes irritated and inflamed. It is sometimes referred to feeling like there is a pebble in your shoe.
4 causes of pain in the ball of the foot include the following:
- Hairline or stress fractures—Hairline fractures in the metatarsal bones that connect to the toes can cause intense pain in the ball of the foot.
- Deformities— hammertoes and bunions are often caused by wearing tight-fitting shoes or high heels and may contribute to metatarsalgia.
- Overwork or stress from sports and exercise—The front of the foot absorbs considerable pressure during activities like working, long distance running, or other high impact activities.
- Having flat feet or high arches—Arch abnormalities can increase pressure on the metatarsals.
Treatment for metatarsalgia
Conservative treatments are usually sufficient to relieve the pain and discomfort of metatarsalgia and consist of resting the foot, wearing more comfortable and supportive shoes, and using orthotic inserts such as a metatarsal pad. If your metatarsalgia is accompanied by other foot problems such as bunions and hammertoes, surgery may be required to realign the metatarsal bones.
Since there are other conditions that have symptoms similar to metatarsalgia, it is important to see your podiatrist for the proper diagnosis and treatment. Schedule an appointment with our foot doctor Dr. Zahid Ladha at the Foot First Podiatry Center in New Albany, IN. Dr. Ladha provides high-quality, individualized foot and ankle care for all of his patients. Contact us at (812) 945-9221 and schedule an appointment today!