Ball of the Foot Pain
Foot Neuralgia: [Causes, Symptoms & Best Treatment]
Foot Neuralgia refers to any type of nerve pain in the foot, with the most common types being morton’s neuralgia , entrapment of the posterior tibial nerve and generalized peripheral neuropathy as a result of a diabetic foot.
- Metatarsalgia: which means generalized foot pain without a specific cause.
- Second toe capsulitis: this is the inflammation of the second toe joint capsule.
- Capsulitis is related to hammertoe formation, and can lead to a plantar plate tear. There is some overlap between these three disorders. As they get worse tearing and ligament damage can occur.
- Morton’s neuroma: this is the damage and inflammation to the nerves between and underneath the metatarsal joints.
- Fat pad atrophy of the ball of the foot: this is the loss of cushioning in the ball the foot.
So, click on the photo gallery to see the specific causes of your ball of the foot pain!
Click on the photo gallery to see the specific causes of your ball of the foot pain!
Causes of Foot Neuralgia
- Prior injury around a nerve.
- Swelling around a nerve.
- Tightness around a nerve.
- Scarring around a nerve.
- Peripheral vascular disease or smoking.
- Any severe systemic disease.
Symptoms of Foot Neuralgia.
- Sharp and Shooting Pain.
- These all indicate nerve irritation.
- Sore and aching muscle pain usually indicated muscle and bone pain.
Most Common Causes:
- Mortons Neuralgia is a swelling in the nerve between the 3rd and 4th toes known as a benign neuroma.
- This is a non-cancerous lesion that isn’t really dangerous beyond causing pain and irritation.
- The problem like all nerve pain is characterized by pain and numbness rather than the sore aching and throbbing that is usually experienced by muscle and bone pain.
- This pain is specifically felt in the ball of the foot around the base of the 3rd and 4th toes, it may feel like a pebble on compression.
- Posterior tibial nerve entrapment in the heel can occur very similar to carpal tunnel syndrome in the wrist.
- A canal exists on the inside of the ankle and heel that is a compression point on the major nerve that supplies the nervous sensation of the foot.
- As this nerve gets compressed from any number of causes such as obesity or poor foot biomechanics- it starts to radiate pain around the heel region.
3) Peripheral Neuropathy:
- Peripheral neuropathy is systemic damage to the extensions of the peripheral nervous system, usually as a result of chronic uncontrolled diabetes.
- This pain is differentiated from the above conditions by creating numbness, burning and tingling throughout the forefoot- especially at night.
For more on Foot Neuralgia in general:
Ball of the Foot Pain Treatment Infographic:
Ball of the Foot Home Treatment:
- Consider taping, orthotics and great shoes as a combination to fix your foot problem.
- Products are not always necessary to fix your problem.
- The key is correcting the biomechanics that are leading to forefoot overload. Foot overload means too much pressure in the ball of the foot.
- Generally something called ankle joint equinus can lead to a too much pressure in the ball of your foot. This means your ankle is not flexible enough to move up and down.
- Ball of the foot pain treatment consists of two phases, first is control inflammation, next is to control bio-mechanics.
Remove Control Inflammation:
Massage & Ice Products:
- The metal ball is one of my personal favorites.
- This works great for your arch, less for the ball of the foot.
- These can help relax the arch or heel ligaments, leading to less pressure in the ball of the foot.
- Pills, creams and ice will never completely fix your problem alone. What they will do is reduce the pressure on the area.
Menthol Based Gels:
- Biofreeze is one of our favorites.
- These gels have been studied to work 2x as long as ice.
- This works great for the ball of the foot.
- Consider using these as options when resting on the couch or going to sleep at night.
- These can work great for loosening your muscles.
- This is means for your hamstring and calf muscles. This can loosen the ankle tightness putting pressure on the ball of your foot.
- This allows less tightness and pressure on the ball of your foot.
Ball of the Foot Stress Relief.
- The key is to prevent future pain.
- If you can get rid of the pain and swelling, this will let you start walking normally.
- If you can walk normally, the vast majority of your pain should gradually start to go away.
- This means proper cushion, proper stability and pressure relief from the front of your foot.
- This will relieve pressure from your big toe, your 2nd toe, your Morton’s neuroma, your plantar plate, hammer toes and joint capsules.
Best Metatarsalgia Shoes:
- Getting a great supportive pair of shoes will make sure that there is pressure removed from the ball of your foot.
- This is especially important if you have a metatarsalgia, a Morton’s neuroma, 2nd metatarsal overload syndrome and capsulitis!
- Consider shoes combined with a good supportive orthotic for best pain relief!
- The following link will show you what our favorites are.
Best Ball of the Foot Insoles:
- These are our recommended orthotics & insoles.
- There are different types for different shoes.
- Women’s shoes usually need a less bulky orthotic, but allow for less correction.
- A full length orthotic requires a running shoe, boot or comfortable walking/dress shoe.
Best Full Length Orthotics:
- Full length orthotics are the most recommended type for ball of the foot pain.
- Be aware that if they are too uncomfortable, it might be worth starting with a less corrective pair.
- Eventually you can then work your way up to these.
Best Dress Shoe Orthotics:
- These are a stronger option for shoes with tight dress shoes.
- Just be aware that less corrective orthotics & tight shoes are usually not a good combination.
Best 3/4 Length Orthotics:
- These may be a good option for ball of the foot if the full length orthotics are too tight or too uncomfortable.
Get A Great Dynamic Stretch:
- It is possible to stretch on your own, but these products can also really help!
- Personally I have the stationary block set up in my kitchen to stretch every day multiple times while getting my coffee!
- This will take pressure off of the ball of your foot.
Ball of the Foot Pain