Ball of the Foot Pain
Middle Toe Pain [Causes, Symptoms & Best Home Remedies]
Middle toe pain is usually in your 2nd, 3rd and 4th toes. Common causes are metatarsalgia, plantar plate injuries and capsulitis!
- 2nd toe joint pain can be improved with a few simple treatment changes.
- We are foot doctors & we see this problem get better almost every day.
- The goal is to solve this problem without medication or surgery if at all possible.
So, let’s GO!
Table of Contents
Ball of the Foot Pain Pictures & Photo Gallery:
- 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.
- Plantar Plate Tear: A plantar plate tear is ripping of the ligaments holding the toe together.
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!
Middle toe pain overview:
- Middle toe pain can occur in three common areas.
- It could happen at the tip of the total, this could be nail problems in hammertoe pain.
- The pain could also happen at the knuckles of the toes.
- It could also happen where the toes connect to the ball of the foot. This is the most likely cause of pain.
- Read below for pictures and potential treatment options for all of these disorders.
Middle Toe Pain Causes:
- The most common cause for experiencing middle toe pain is injury to your toe or toes.
- Injury to your toe can cause your toe to get infected and inflamed. One of the most common causes for inflammation is cellulitis.
- Proper foot wear is highly recommended to prevent toe pain as it can correct the position of your foot while walking.
- Walking can also cause thick calluses to form due to constant friction to your skin.
- These thick callouses can throw off the position of your foot causing you to have toe pain which can lead to tendon injury or deformity.
- Hammer toe is one of the most common tendon issues that lead to middle toe pain.
- This condition leaves the tendon attached to your toe very tight forcing your toe to contract without the ability to straight out.
- Don’t let the huge name scare you!
- This is just generalized pain located in the ball of the foot.
- Sometimes the only real cause is increased pressure.
- This focuses on offloading the ball of the foot.
- It also focuses on stretching out the posterior muscle groups.
- This leads to a decrease in ball of foot pressure.
- This can cause numbness, burning and tingling.
- This is usually around the 3rd and 4th toes.
- The bottom of the toes may be numb.
- You may even feel an itchy ball of foot.
- There may be a clicking noise often associated with this.
- This guide explains home treatment options.
- Control and cushioning of the ball of the foot is needed.
- It is also necessary to stretch and re-train the posterior muscle groups.
- If these methods do not work, invasive treatment may be necessary.
- This is pain at the base of the toes.
- If you try and bend the smaller toes back or up, you will feel pain.
- This is inflammation of the flexor tendons that bend the toes down.
- This can be very common in running.
- Decrease inflammation.
- Decrease ball of foot pressure through stretching.
- This is a gradual onsetting pain over a few days or weeks.
- It eventually becomes to painful to walk or run.
- This is most common in weekend warriors who start training very hard.
- Usually in people who start running many miles right away.
- Treatment is based on proper diagnosing.
- Imaging and X-rays may be needed to confirm the stress fracture.
- Off-loading will be necessary to let the fracture heal.
- A callus on the ball of the foot is very common.
- This is a sign of too much pressure on the ball of the foot.
- Calluses develop in relation to the amount of pressure placed on them.
- Soften up the callus through home remedies.
- Remove it after it is softened.
- Take precautions to remove the cause of the callus on ball of foot!
- A blister will form from shear forces on the ball of the foot.
- They can have both blood or serous fluid.
- Learn whether to pop the blister or not.
- Then learn how to cover your blister on the ball of the foot.
- Then how to keep the ball of the foot blister from coming back!
- This will cause all the pain to be concentrated at the base of the 2nd toe.
- This is perhaps the most common cause of metatarsalgia (generalized ball of foot pain.).
- This is done through controlling pressure on the forefoot.
- The only way to correct the length permanently is through surgery.
- But this is rarely needed.
- A foot corn on ball of foot can cause deep pinpoint pain.
- A corn is different than a callus, it is thinner and more deep.
- It can feel like a needle digging deep in through the skin.
- It is made from hard keratin tissue.
- It is thought to be a thickened and scarred sweat duct.
- Treatment of a foot corn on the ball of the foot is usually done by sharp steel!
- Since the corn is very deep, moisturizing does not work as well as for a callus.
- You can always try the skin removal techniques shown for a callus on the ball of the foot.
- But the results will not be as impressive.
- Hard skin on ball of foot is essentially a callus on the ball of the foot.
- Treatment can be done almost completely at home!
- There are a variety of home remedies that can soften the skin.
- The skin can then be safely and easily removed.
- Stone bruise on ball of foot is simply a deep contusion.
- It gets it’s name from stepping on a stone.
- This can penetrate through the protective fat pad.
- The deep tissue can take numerous weeks to get better!
- Treatment is based on rest, ice, compression and elevation.
- Ball of foot cushion through padding and gel inserts is most important.
- The first few days are usually the most painful, then it gets better very quickly!
- A cyst on the ball of the foot is almost always a ganglion cyst.
- This is an pouching of joint fluid.
- This is usually treated by aspirating with a needle.
- Surgical removal can provide more long term results.
- This is most likely a foot corn on the ball of the foot.
- It can also be a plantar fibroma.
- A plantar fibroma feels like a pebble underneath the skin, but the skin is normal.
- Ball of foot cushion is the primary conservative treatment to achieve relief!
- Surgery may be necessary to remove the knot on ball of foot.
- Plantar plate injury can occur when the ligament holding the second metatarsal theology will join together starts to become injured.
- This is one of the most common causes of second toe pain in the bulk of the foot.
Plantar plate injury treatment:
- Plantar plate can be torn just like a ankle ligament can be entered.
- The goal is to stabilize this ligament, keep it safe and let it start healing.
- This can take about 2 to 3 months to get 100% better.
- A hammertoe is a contracture of the digits at the knuckles.
- It can be very difficult to straighten the toes.
- If the toe cannot be straightened, this might mean that significant arthritis has developed.
- the best treatment for hammer toes is to get good orthotics and a good pair of shoes.
- It is then possible to use a good supportive gel pad to take pressure off the toes.
- Surgery is an option, but it is not the first line of treatment.
In summary here is a list of common causes for middle toes pain:
- Hammer toe.
- Dislocated joints.
- improper foot wear.
If you experience any toe pain it is best to seek out your doctor and have your pain examined. The pain you are experiencing could be a symptom of an important problem that must be addressed.
Experiencing other foot pain? Click on the links below.
If your big toe is bent and you are having pain in your big toe.
If your big toe is straight, if you have difficulty bending it due to a big lump and you are still having pain to this site.
If the central three toes in your foot are still hurting.
Click this link if you think you jammed your big toe and it is causing you to walk on the side of your foot.
Click on this link if you think the entire front of your foot is aching.
If it is mostly underneath your second toe that is hurting.
If the majority of your pain is coming from the fifth toe.
If the pain is in the front, but mostly on the outside of your foot.
If it is in the middle of the foot but mostly on top.
If you think arthritis is what is causing this pain.
If you get cramps or spasms during the day.
If you have a very long second toe that is causing you pain.
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 biomechanical problems 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 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, hammertoes 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 metatarsalgia, Morton’s neuroma, 2nd metatarsal overload syndrome, and capsulitis!
- Consider shoes combined with a good supportive orthotic for the 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 of 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 the 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 the 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