Why Does the Ball of My Foot Hurt?
The feeling of having a pebble in your shoe is how a condition known as Morton’s neuroma is often described. It happens in the ball of the foot, between the middle toes (usually the third and fourth) and is characterized by a thickening of the tissue around a major nerve that connects to the toes. When this nerve becomes injured or compressed, it causes numbness and a burning sensation in addition to severe pain and discomfort.
Women who wear high heeled shoes are prone to developing Morton’s neuroma. Any tight-fitting shoes or boots that squeeze the toes together, such as those used in rock climbing and skiing, can be problematic. Runners are also more likely to develop this condition due to the repeated stress and pounding their feet take. If you have other foot abnormalities including hammertoes or flatfeet, you are more susceptible to this problem.
Morton’s neuroma can very often be successfully treated by conservative measures that include the following:
- Change to better fitting shoes—Wearing shoes that have more toe room and a lower heel cup will often allow the nerve to rest and heal.
- Orthotic shoe inserts—In addition to correcting problems caused by flatfeet, inserts can also lift and separate the bones between the toes and decrease the pressure on the nerve thereby promoting healing.
- Cortisone injections—These can help lower inflammation and reduce nerve compression.
If this condition goes untreated, permanent damage may result. It is also possible that the pain in the ball of your foot is caused by something else such as arthritis or a stress fracture, so be sure to see your foot care professional for the correct diagnosis and treatment.
For more expert advice on Morton’s neuroma treatment, consult with our board certified podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC. The center offers convenient locations in Fort Lee NJ, Ringwood NJ, Flushing Queens NY, Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn NY, and Forest Hills NY. Contact us at (201) 363-9844 and schedule an appointment today!