Do you suffer from pain in the ball of one or both of your feet? If so, you may have developed a condition known medically as metatarsalgia.
Metatarsalgia means a swelling of the metatarsal region, which falls between your arch and your toes. Most often, metatarsalgia is an over-use condition that occurs when someone wears high heels too long or jumps on a hard surface repeatedly, which can occur by running on hard roads or several other activities (tennis, basketball, jumping rope, ballet dancing) that puts the front of your feet to hard use.
Metatarsalgia is also called “stone bruise,” because the pain, which can be considerable, feels like you have hammered your feet on something very hard for too long. It is also simply referred to as ball of feet pain.
Frequently, the cause of the condition is also attributed to wearing the wrong type of shoe for various activities. Ballet flats, while considered the right type of footwear for ballet dancing, nonetheless, are thin-soled shoes with very little padding. Metatarsalgia can also be caused by a condition called Morton’s neuroma. This is a condition that involves thickening tissue around a nerve that goes to your third and fourth toes. Ball of foot pain results, sometimes because Morton’s neuroma includes pressure on that nerve, resulting in a pinched nerve sensation.
You should consult a podiatrist if you are suffering from ball of foot pain to get advice on the proper shoes to wear for various activities and on what padding might be proper to relieve the symptoms. Metatarsalgia can take time to recede, simply because people continue to walk without giving time for the feet to heal properly. The condition does respond well to home remedies, including soaking your feet in warm water, rest, elevating your feet, gentle massages and ice to relieve pain. Over the counter analgesic medicine can also help.