Woman Holding Her Foot in PainBecause you have numerous small bones in your feet, it can be hard to pinpoint a cause when you have pain in that area. But if you have trouble specifically in the ball of your foot, or the area just under the toes, you may have what’s known as metatarsalgia. A podiatrist can determine what exactly is causing this issue and develop a plan to get you back to the life you enjoy.

Common Causes of Pain in the Ball of the Foot

There are several reasons you can develop pain in the ball of your foot. It may be related to how active you are, what shoes you wear, your genetics, or even an injury you didn’t know about. Your metatarsalgia is most likely related to one of six things, though.

Reasons the Ball of Your Foot May Hurt

  • Exercising too much. Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. Our bodies need exercise, but you shouldn’t be so active your feet are in constant pain. If you are exercising several times a week, make sure you give your feet a day off sometimes.
  • Wearing improper shoes. If you wear shoes that are too narrow, your toes will be under stress the whole day. If you wear high heels often, your weight will be shifted to your toes and the surrounding area. Either of these can cause pain in the ball of your foot.
  • Stress fractures. If you’re especially active, you may end up with an injury you weren’t aware existed. A stress fracture is a tiny crack in a bone that comes from overuse, and it happens quite a bit in the small bones of the foot.
  • The shape of your foot. A foot deformity like hammertoe or claw toe can cause an imbalance that shifts weight to an area it shouldn’t be. If your toes are holding more weight than they should, they may begin to hurt.
  • Excess weight. Sometimes, people who carry excessive weight can have pain in their toes because the ball of the foot is pressed down more than normal.
  • Morton’s neuroma. If you have pain that feels like a pebble in your shoe or a burning sensation in your toes, it may be a condition called Morton’s neuroma. This condition is specifically linked to wearing high heels often, and it can be remedied by switching to a lower shoe.

Symptoms of Metatarsalgia

Metatarsalgia isn’t considered a serious condition, but it’s certainly serious enough to keep you from living life. Beyond the foot pain that’s evident, how can you tell what’s causing your foot pain? To identify metatarsalgia, there are some signs you should know.

How to Identify If Your Foot Pain Is Metatarsalgia

  • A sharp ache or burning pain in the ball of your foot
  • Pain that gets worse when you stand or run
  • Numbness or tingling in your toes
  • A feeling like a small rock in your shoe or a fold in your sock

In general, pain related to metatarsalgia will worsen when pressure is applied to your foot and lessen when you rest the foot. If that’s the case, the best thing you can do is visit a podiatrist and develop a treatment plan.

Shenandoah Podiatry Helps Relieve Foot Pain

If you have heel and foot pain, don’t assume it’s something you have to live with because treatment may be easier than you realize. At Shenandoah Podiatry, we make sure every one of our patients gets a high level of care from our experienced staff and does so in a relaxing environment.

We believe most foot issues can be fixed without surgery anyway, but especially problems with the ball of the foot. Our team of podiatrists can help you find a specialized orthotic, develop a new exercise regimen, find a better shoe for your lifestyle, or another non-surgical treatment. If surgery is needed, our experienced staff will use the latest technology available to restore your health.

Since a lot of foot pain only worsens with time, don’t put off your relief any longer and call our office today at 540-904-1458 or use our online contact form to schedule your appointment.