Ball of the Foot Pain
Pinched Nerve in the Foot or Toe [Causes & Best Home Treatment]
95% of the time a pinched nerve in the foot or toe will cause sharp, shooting or tingling type pain. The #1) Cause is a Neuroma: FIX IT FAST!
- Ball of the foot pain and Morton’s neuroma 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.
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!
Pinched Nerve in the Foot or Toe Symptoms:
The most common symptoms of a pinched nerve in the foot or toe are:
- Sharp pain
- Shooting pain
- Tingling pain.
- Pain at night.
- Usually this type of pain is not a deeping aching throb or a soreness type pain.
- The most common cause of a pinched nerve in the foot is called a Morton’s neuroma.
- But there are other causes.
- For the other causes browse through the below list!
Pinched nerve in the toe causes:
The most common causes of a pinched nerve in the toes are:
- If you have a bent big toe, a bunion can really compress and cause you pain in this area. This is a definite cause of pain on the inside of the big toe.
- If your big toe is stiff and does not bend, this can cause nerve pain.
- Click this link if you feel like you have pinching in your smaller toes.
- If you jammed your big toe and it is radiating up the foot, this may be a cause of that pain.
- This could cause neuroma and compression like pain. See if this is a cause for you.
- If your pain is mostly in the big toe, this may be a cause of pressure and pinching of the nerve as well.
Pinched nerve in the foot causes:
Plantar fasciitis can cause significant nerve pain in the feet, this is a very common cause of injury to this site.
If you have fat pad atrophy to the bottom of your foot, this can cause much more frequent compression to the front of the foot.
This can happen with pain on the inside of the ankle. This can then radiate more and more through the ankles.
If you landed and bruised your heel, this is not so much a nerve injury, but more of a constant compression to the nerves in your heel.
A plantar fibroma can result in extensive compression of the nerves at the bottom of the foot and the nerves under the lump.
If your sprained your arch, this throbbing and swelling will cause extensive nerve pain.
If you strain the muscles in your arch, this will cause compression to your arch.
If you experience cramping at night, check out this article.
Home treatment of Morton’s Neuroma:
- If you are lucky enough to catch this serious problem in the early stages, there are things you can do to prevent any type of more invasive treatment.
- The goal of home treatment is to stabilize nerve and to relieve pressure from it.
- Your body can heal then let the inflammation and nerve pain decrease in size.
- The key predictor to success is a nerve <5mm in diameter. If you are worried your foot is too bad, then go see your podiatrist!
- Another thing we have seen frequently is people switching from a pair of high heels, a pair of flats, a pair of flexible and unsupportive shoes.
- The switch is made into a good supportive running shoe.
- A great running shoe combined with a great choice for an affordable over-the-counter orthotic lead to a near instant offloading of pain.
- This orthotic with an issue takes almost all the pressure off the second metatarsal joint.
- This leads to a near instant relief of pressure, along the joint to heal over the next few weeks or months.
Rest and ice:
- Ice for 20 minutes at a time.
- Ice this as long as possible to get the foot feeling better.
- Take a 1 hour break in between.
- The number one cause of second toe capsulitis and front of the foot pain is high arched foot in a tight Achilles tendon.
- We have great success to relieve this pain by stretching Achilles tendon, it is practical that over 3 to 4 weeks this condition can improve enough to remove the paint from the front of the foot.
- As your foot has more flexibility in bending up, it makes sense that there is less pressure on the front of the foot.
Morton’s Neuroma Research Review:
- This is a great article of a meta-analysis on all Morton’s neuroma treatment options.
- The most successful options were orthotics, injections and offloading.
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