Published on Nov 16, 2016, modified on Nov 10, 2018 by Dr. Solomon (Podiatrist in NYC), Manhattan Foot Specialists

Ball of Foot Pain (Metatarsalgia)

Ball of Foot Pain (Metatarsalgia)

You may have experienced pain in the ball of your foot and wondered if it is something that can be treated. It is treatable, and your NYC podiatrist can help you with pain relief for this issue, as well as other foot-related conditions. A simple checkup with a highly experienced podiatry doctor, Dr. Sophia Solomon, may be what it takes to find a solution to your foot pain!

The name for “ball of foot pain” is metatarsalgia. This is a general term and your forefoot pain can be caused by many different issues.  As you walk, weight transfers from the heel to your forefoot. If your weight isn’t distributed evenly over the ball of the foot, pain can develop.

All symptoms should always be evaluated with a thorough consultation and examination by your podiatrist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan to exclude any underlying serious condition.

Symptoms of Metatarsalgia

You typically experience metatarsalgia from shoes that don’t fit properly or from activities that create shock or trauma (such as increased stress) on your foot — activities like jumping, running or pivoting.

People who experience chronic ball of foot pain often develop painful calluses in underlying layers of the skin. When you age, you sometimes lose the padding of fat underneath the ball area of your foot, causing additional pressure to the area. Those who wear heels are more likely to suffer this sort of forefoot pain.

Consult a podiatry doctor if you have chronic ball of foot pain. The following conditions may worsen metatarsalgia pain:

  • ArthritisAlong with other joint conditions and diseases, arthritis can affect the metatarsal joints in the ball of your foot.
  • DiabetesA nerve-related condition called diabetic neuropathy can create foot pain.
  • Skin lesions: Lesions and severe calluses can press on the metatarsals, creating ball of foot pain.
  • NeuromasEnlarged nerves often located between the metatarsals
  • Injury: Stress fractures and other injuries to your metatarsal bones add to ball of foot pain.

Causes of Ball of Foot Pain (Metatarsalgia)

If you’re uncertain of the cause of your ball of foot pain, a podiatry doctor can help with this diagnosis. Let your Manhattan podiatrist know if you recently changed your shoes, took up a new sport or increased your activity level. It may help if you learn about the metatarsal region of your foot.

You have 5 metatarsal bones and each articulates with one of your five toes. The phalanges are the bones that make up your toes. These metatarsal bones distribute your weight, helping you to stand, walk, run and maintain proper balance.

Additional causes of ball of foot pain:

  • Bone abnormalities: a bone abnormality often includes an unusually long metatarsal bone or when the metatarsals are angulated downward more than usual placing increased pressure on these bones
  • Flat feetThis condition causes the foot to be in unlocked/unstable state, demanding more energy to move and control the foot during motion and standing.
  • High arches: This is another condition that places pressure on your metatarsals.
  • Hammer toes: A condition that affects the distribution of weight across your feet. Hammer toes are often lifted off the ground and the weight that they usually carry is placed on the metatarsals.

Self-Diagnosis for Ball of Feet Pain

Identifying the location of your foot pain may be difficult since sometimes the pain moves around. Before you visit a podiatrist in Manhattan, ask yourself the following questions to better prepare for your visit. If you are experiencing pain, make sure to tell your NYC foot doctor as much as you can.

  • Is your pain focused in one area or does it spread out across your foot?
  • If the pain isn’t localized, does it radiate throughout the width or length of your entire foot?
  • Do you feel the pain down to your toes or up your leg?
  • What’s the nature of your pain? Is it dull and aching? Burning? Or sharp and shooting?
  • Are any of your metatarsal bones inflamed? Does your foot feel swollen?
  • Is it more painful when you walk around barefoot?
  • Can you feel pain when you transfer weight to your affected foot?
  • Is it more painful to stand on your toes?
  • Can you feel it when you run or jump?
  • Does it feel like you’re walking on a sharp stone or pebble?

It is important to explain your symptoms to your NYC foot doctor so a proper diagnosis can be made. If you answered yes to any of the above questions please report them to your doctor. Contact your local Manhattan podiatrist for a complete diagnosis.

All symptoms should always be evaluated with a thorough consultation and examination by your podiatrist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan to exclude any underlying serious condition.

Metatarsalgia Treatment Options

A good podiatry doctor in NYC can offer several non-surgical treatments that help most individuals suffering this type of pain. These treatments are important to explore first because surgery always has potential complications involved.

There are some simple home remedies you can try to ease your ball of foot pain. The goal is to stretch your Achilles tendon or strengthen your foot muscles to decrease the ball of foot pain by reducing the pressure on your feet and specifically forefeet areas. Several treatment options we may offer you are:

  • Physical therapy: Ultrasound and Electrical stimulation helps reduce inflammation.
  • Orthotics: We can modify these to defer the pressure from your forefoot
  • Padding: we can place pads in your shoe to alleviate pain
  • Dermal Filler: Restylane is injected into ball of foot to pad pressure points
  • Laser: Laser therapy can help reduce pain and inflammation

In the event that these non-surgical treatments fail to resolve your ball and foot pain, or if it continues to worsen, consult your Manhattan podiatric doctor or foot specialist about the possibility of metatarsalgia surgery. Surgery might be the only way to address ball of foot pain or correct abnormalities creating the discomfort. Metatarsalgia has many causes and your podiatric doctor will discuss your options based on your foot type during your scheduled visit.

All symptoms should always be evaluated with a thorough consultation and examination by your podiatrist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan to exclude any underlying serious condition.

Important Reminder: This information is only intended to provide guidance, not a definitive medical advice. Please consult your foot doctor about your specific condition. Only a trained, experienced board certified podiatrist or foot specialist can determine an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.

Important Reminder: This information is only intended to provide guidance, not definitive medical advice. Please consult your foot doctor about your specific condition. Only a trained, experienced board certified podiatrist or foot specialist can determine an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.

Do you have any questions about Ball of Foot Pain (Metatarsalgia) prevention or treatment? Would like to schedule an appointment with an internationally recognized, top NYC Podiatrist and foot doctor, Dr. Sophia Solomon of Manhattan Foot Specialists?  Please contact our office for a consultation.

Manhattan Foot Specialists
Dr. Sophia Solomon, Podiatrist (NYC Foot Doctor)

51 East 25th Street, Ste 409
New York, NY 10010

(Between Madison Ave & Park Ave)
(212) 389-9918

DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY
The information on this website is to provide general guidance. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a best in class podiatrist regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a foot doctor or call our office today and schedule a consultation.