Pain in the ball of your foot, or metatarsalgia, can develop gradually as a result of running or other high-impact sports. You might also get it from wearing high heels frequently or because you're overweight. Whatever the cause, the pain can make it difficult to do your usual activities. A podiatrist can suggest ways to heal your foot pain and prevent the condition from coming back. Here are some treatments that might help.
Rest Your Foot Until It Heals
Your podiatrist may take x-rays of your foot to ensure you don't have a broken bone or a condition such as arthritis. If your bones are in good shape, then resting your foot as much as possible might be enough to help it heal. You may be instructed to keep the foot elevated while placing ice on it several times a day. This might be challenging if you work and have an active lifestyle. However, you may need to eliminate as much stress on your foot as possible by giving up running and playing sports until the pain is gone.
Wear Different Shoes And Padded Inserts
Your podiatrist will probably want to know about the type of shoes you wear often. Wearing shoes with high heels or shoes that aren't the right size can cause pain in the ball of your foot. Choosing shoes with the help of a professional ensures your shoes aren't too big or too little. When they're the right size, your foot is stabilized when you walk, so there is less stress on your foot.
Your podiatrist may also provide you with orthotic inserts for your shoes. An insert with a padded area for the ball of your foot and with arch support could make it more comfortable to walk. You may find you have less pain walking in a supportive and padded shoe than you do when walking barefoot.
Undergo Surgery If Needed
When the pain in the ball of your foot is caused by a medical condition or foot abnormality, surgery could be needed to correct the problem and prevent future bouts of pain. Surgery might involve repositioning the metatarsal bones or shortening them. Surgery might be considered if other types of treatment fail to relieve your pain.
You shouldn't ignore the pain in the ball of your foot or hide it with over-the-counter pain relievers. When you have metatarsalgia, it often feels like there's a rock in your shoe when you walk. This sensation and the pain that goes along with it causes you to limp slightly or alter the way you walk in another way. This puts stress on other parts of your feet, and it can even affect your knees and back, so seeing a podiatrist for help could prevent your condition from getting worse.