Ball of the Foot Pain
Pain in the Ball of the Foot in Second Toe [Causes & Best Treatment]
Pain in the Ball of the Foot in Second Toe is extremely common because the 2nd toe is the longest toe! It is the digit that absorbs the most pressure!
- 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!
- 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!
Pain in the Ball of the Foot in Second Toe Overview:
- Pain in the ball the foot in the second toe is commonly known as metatarsalgia.
- This does have a few different names, including second metatarsal overload syndrome, a possible planter play injury, and potentially pre-dislocation syndrome.
- Your podiatrist can help you diagnosis in person, but here are some possibilities of what may be causing your pain in the ball of the second toe.
- The treatment options are included below, as well as some recommended product options.
- Sharp, shooting pain.
- Deep aching throb that gets worse during the day.
- The most common causes that there is too much pressure in the ball of the foot.
- In most people this is as they get older, their ankle is not as flexible, their knees are not as flexible in your back is not as flexible.
- At the same time their muscle strength decreases and they are generally carrying more weight.
- This makes the front of the foot less elastic, and if not supported by good shoes and orthotics, this could lead to too much pressure on the ball of the foot.
There are two possibilities for Pain in the Ball of the Foot in Second Toe:
Pain in the toe or toe joint:
- Second toe pain is one of the most common sites of foot pain because anatomically this is the site of the longest and most rigid bone in the forefoot.
- It is the most common site for ball of the foot pain because as you can see in the X-ray, the 2nd metatarsal is the longest of the metatarsals and as you lean forward on your forefoot, most of the weight will be absorbed into the second toe joint leading to pain.
- Thus, the second toe joint is the most likely spot for ball of the foot pain, stress fractures, corns, calluses, pre-dislocation syndrome and crossing toes.
Pain in the Small Toes:
- Hammer Toes.
- Black Spot or Bleeding under the Toenail.
- Swollen Painful Toe.
- Foot Corn.
- Foot and Toe Blisters.
- Callus Foot Pain.
- Predislocation Syndrome.
- Toes Crossing Over.
- Foot Arthritis.
Pain in the Ball of the Foot:
- If the pain is more at the base of the joint of the toe (where the toe comes out of your foot), then you must consider for the possibility of ball of the foot problems rather than just toe itself.
- It is probably difficult to diagnose this by yourself, but try and feet around at the bottom of your foot to see if the pain is coming more from this region rather than the actual toe itself.
- Metatarsophalangeal Joint Pain.
- Morton’s Neuroma.
- Metatarsal stress fracture.
- Predislocation Syndrome.
- Turf Toe.
- Dislocated Toe.
- Long Second Toe.
- Diagnosis is best performed by foot doctor or podiatrist.
- When you come visit us in the office we have the ability to perform a detailed history, to see why you would be likely to having ball of the foot pain.
- At the same time we can perform a detailed physical exam, and assess why you are having the pain.
- During the same visit we can take an x-ray to rule out any bone problems.
- We can also perform an ultrasound to make sure there are no soft tissue, capsule or nerve problems.
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