What Causes Soreness On The Ball Of The Foot? How To Treat It?

Sore ball of foot is one of the most common conditions of foot. It is called as metatarsalgia. In this condition one experiences pain and inflammation in the area of ball of the foot. It frequently occurs at the first metatarsal head but often second, third and fourth metatarsal heads are also affected. It is caused due to excessive pressure on the heads of metatarsals for a long period of time.

Patient finds difficulty in walking or running. Simple measures like rest, ice pack may help the patient. If metatarsalgia is not treated in time it can lead to pain in other parts of the same foot or other foot.

It can also lead to low backache due to altered gait.

What Causes Sore Ball Of Foot?

  • If one is active and participates in activities like running, jumping or any other high impact sport activity then he or she is likely to develop sore ball of foot.
  • In women this condition occurs due to high heels. Due to high heels more weight is transferred to the front of the feet. Sport shoes without padding or support also can lead to metatarsalgia. Shoes having narrow toe box also contribute to the problem.
  • People having high arched feet are more likely to develop metatarsalgia. A high arch puts more pressure on metatarsals.
  • Having second toe longer than first also is the reason for sore ball of foot. In this case more weight is transferred to the head of second metatarsal.
  • Obesity is one of the major causes of metatarsalgia as metatarsals have to bear more weight.
  • Conditions like hammertoe, arthritis, gout, stress fracture or long standing injury may alter one’s walking style and put more pressure on metatarsals.
  • Due to aging process, our fat pads in feet thin out hence we are prone to develop sore ball of foot.

Symptoms And Treatment For Sore Ball Of Foot

Person experiences sharp or dull aching pain in the ball of the foot. There may be burning sensation and pain around big toe or 2nd, 3rd and 4th toe.

Pain is aggravated by standing, walking or running. More pain is felt when one walks barefoot. There may be tingling or numbness in the affected area.

Treatment

  • Take rest till the pain subsides completely and start with low impact exercises.
  • Lower body strengthening and stretching exercise will help to reduce the risk of getting sore ball of foot.
  • Local application of ice pack will help to reduce inflammation and pain.
  • Wear properly fitting shoes having good padding and support and avoid wearing shoes with high heels and narrow toe box.
  • Using metatarsal pads in shoes help to take pressure away from metatarsals
  • Arch supports are advised by doctors to minimize the pressure on metatarsals. Cushioned insoles may be used to serve the purpose.

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