What Is The Outlook For Ball Of Foot Pain
Most cases of ball of foot pain may be resolved with treatment and rest. Wearing comfortable shoes and maintaining a moderate weight might help prevent ball of foot pain. If your pain is a result of physical exercise, let your foot rest as much as possible until the pain subsides.
In all cases, seek the advice of a medical professional. This will speed up your recovery, as youll receive cause-specific care.
How Is Plantar Fasciitis Diagnosed
Searing heel pain thats worse with your first few steps of the day is the main symptom of plantar fasciitis and is an often unmistakable sign of the condition. If the heel pain does not go away after a few weeks, it’s a good idea to make an appointment with a podiatrist.
A podiatrist will talk to you about your pain and symptoms, and examine your feet to rule out other conditions that can cause heel pain. Your podiatrist may order an X-ray or other tests to make sure there isn’t a fracture in your foot or something else that’s causing the pain.
Heel spurs small, pointed overgrowths on the heel bone can sometimes be spotted on X-rays. But heel spurs are not considered to be the cause of the pain in plantar fasciitis. In fact, they are often seen on X-rays of people who do not have heel pain or plantar fasciitis and are therefore believed by many researchers to be an incidental finding.
One out of 10 people has heel spurs, but only 1 out of 20 people with heel spurs has foot pain, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
What Is Foot Pain
Foot pain can be debilitating to an active lifestyle. Foot pain can have many sources, from fractures and sprains to nerve damage. Listed below are 3 common areas of pain in the foot and their causes:
Pain in the ball of the foot. Pain in the ball of the foot, located on the bottom of the foot behind the toes, may be caused by nerve or joint damage in that area. In addition, a benign growth, such as Morton’s neuroma, may cause the pain. Corticosteroid injections and wearing supportive shoe inserts may help relieve the pain. Sometimes, surgery is needed.
Plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is characterized by severe pain in the heel of the foot, especially when standing up after resting. The condition is due to an overuse injury of the sole surface of the foot and results in inflammation of the fascia, a tough, fibrous band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the base of the toes.
Plantar fasciitis is more common in women, people who are overweight, people with occupations that require a lot of walking or standing on hard surfaces, people with flat feet, and people with high arches. Walking or running, especially with tight calf muscles, may also cause the condition.
Treatment may include:
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications
Stretching exercises of the Achilles tendons and plantar fascia
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Research And Statistics: How Common Is Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain in adults, with about 10 percent of the population experiencing it in their lifetime.
Researchers keep looking to improve minimally invasive treatments for plantar fasciitis when symptoms dont improve from rest, icing, and physical therapy. Although a corticosteroid injection is the most common treatment in these cases, newer treatment options may be just as effective, with a lower risk of complications.
A 2019 review of studies for the treatment of plantar fasciitis reveals that autologous platelet-rich plasma therapy , which uses injections of a patients own platelets to speed healing, may be safer and more effective than corticosteroid injections. 30155-4/fulltext” rel=”nofollow”> 24)
The same review found that dry needling, a treatment that involves inserting thin needles through the skin to stimulate muscle tissue in specific areas to relieve tightness and pain , also shows promising results with minimal side effects, but more research is needed.
Another review found that acupuncture may help reduce plantar fasciitis pain in the short term with few side effects. However, more research is needed to determine if its effective in the long term.
Currently, trials are planned that will compare the effectiveness of dry needling versus various types of acupuncture for the treatment of plantar fasciitis.
Common Causes Of Foot Pain
Foot pain often stems from one of the following issues:
- Trauma Injuries can be acute, coming on suddenly like an ankle sprain, foot fracture or an Achilles tendon rupture. Sometimes trauma from an injury plus normal wear and tear from long-term, repetitive use can lead to chronic conditions like tendonitis.
- Deformities From genetics to the way we walk and the shoes we wear, there are several things that can lead to foot deformities such as bunions, hammertoes, claw toes and bone spurs.
- Diabetes High blood sugar levels can cause nerve damage throughout the body, but most often in the feet and legs. High blood sugar can also lead to foot ulcers.
- Wearing ill-fitting shoes Our footwear choices can have a big impact on our feet, depending on how they fit and distribute pressure.
- Viruses, fungi, bacteria or infections Warts, athletes foot and fungal nail infections are all examples of infectious diseases that can lead to foot pain.
- Arthritis Our feet and ankles have many joints and all are prone to developing arthritis. Arthritis can lead to daily pain for some, and be related to old injuries, bone spurs, normal wear and tear, and more.
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Foot Fix: Get New Shoes Consider Orthotics And Rest Up
Your doctor will likely want to do an X-ray first to make sure your bones and joints look okay, and that youre not actually dealing with a stress fracture, Dr. Cunha says.
If your shoes are worn out, its best to get a new pair. Footwear designed with a high, wide toe box and a rocker sole is ideal for treating metatarsalgia, Dr. Cunha says. The high, wide toe box allows the foot to spread out while the rocker sole reduces stress on the ball of the foot. Orthotics that are designed to reduce pain on the ball of your foot can also help, he says.
Other than that, resting, icing, and using oral and topical anti-inflammatories can help, Dr. Cunha says. If you do all of this and youre still in pain, your doctor might recommend surgery.
Who Gets Metatarsalgia
Anyone can get metatarsalgia, although runners and others who take part in high impact sports or spend more time on their forefoot have the condition more frequently than others.
People with high arches also have metatarsalgia more than others. High arches put extra pressure on the metatarsals and heels. People with a second toe longer than their big toe may also experience metatarsalgia more frequently.
People with foot deformities such as hammertoes and bunions may also experience more metatarsalgia.
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What Are Foot Ulcers
A foot ulcer is an open sore on the foot.
A foot ulcer can be a shallow red crater that involves only the surface skin. A foot ulcer also can be very deep. A deep foot ulcer may be a crater that extends through the full thickness of the skin. It may involve tendons, bones and other deep structures.
People with diabetes and people with poor circulation are more likely to develop foot ulcers. It can be difficult to heal a foot ulcer. In people with these conditions, even a small foot ulcer can become infected if it does not heal quickly.
If an infection occurs in an ulcer and is not treated right away, it can develop into:
- A spreading infection of the skin and underlying fat
- A bone infection
- Gangrene. Gangrene is an area of dead, darkened body tissue caused by poor blood flow.
Among people with diabetes, most severe foot infections that ultimately require some part of the toe, foot or lower leg to be amputated start as a foot ulcer.
Foot ulcers are especially common in people who have one or more of the following health problems:
- Peripheral neuropathy. This is nerve damage in the feet or lower legs. Diabetes is the most common cause of peripheral neuropathy. When nerves in the feet are damaged, they can no longer warn about pain or discomfort. When this happens, tight-fitting shoes can trigger a foot ulcer by rubbing on a part of the foot that has become numb.
In addition to diabetes, other medical conditions that increase the risk of foot ulcers include:
How To Find Relief From A Plantar Plate Tear
Plantar plate tears are diagnosed with a physical exam, medical history and X-rays. An MRI or ultrasound may also be used.
Treatment involves placing and holding the affected toe in a position that allows the tear to heal. I flex the toe 10 degrees, bringing it lower than the adjacent toe, so the edges of the torn plantar plate come together. Then, I crisscross tape along the bottom of the foot to hold the toe down, Dr. Botek explains.
There are also splints that can be used to hold the toe in this position. It typically takes three to six months to heal. Dr. Botek advises patients to wear stiff-soled shoes and shoe inserts with metatarsal pads.
If these measures dont help or if a deformity has already formed, surgery is an option. Its often done in conjunction with surgery for other foot deformities.
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Take The Next Step Toward Foot Pain Relief
No matter the kind of foot pain youre experiencing, dont just try to push through it.
At a minimum, there are things you can do at home to heal certain conditions and relieve pain. But if youre experiencing intense or increasing foot or ankle pain, your symptoms are impacting your daily activities, or youre simply concerned somethings wrong, make an appointment with a podiatrist.
Podiatrists specialize in all things foot and ankle. Oftentimes, they can treat certain conditions in the office, as well as recommend products, stretches and exercises, pain medications and therapies to help relieve or heal pain. Many are also foot and ankle surgeons who can provide more advanced care when needed.
Tired of foot pain? Its time to see a foot and ankle specialist.
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Foot Fix: Choose The Right Shoes
To help prevent bunions in the first place, make sure youre wearing shoes with a wider toe box, says Dr. Fuchs. There should be about a half-inch of space between the tip of your longest toe and the end of the shoe. Your shoes shouldnt cause too much pressure on your feet and toes or cause them to crunch up, she says.
You might also add specific padding to help alleviate or talk to your doctor about adding orthotics to your shoes, says Dr. Fuchs. These prescribed inserts can improve the biomechanics of the foot, helping to balance the muscles and tendons and stop bunions and hammertoes from worsening, she explains.
Why Does The Ball Of My Foot Hurt
Mortons neuroma is a thickening of one of the nerves that runs between your toes. It can result from your toes being frequently squeezed together for too long.
Mortons neuroma can cause a burning sensation or sharp pain in the ball of your foot, and discomfort or numbness in your toes. When you put weight on your foot, it may feel like theres a small object underneath it.
Avoiding tight, high-heeled or pointed shoes is usually the first treatment step. In addition, anti-inflammatory medications and using ice can help bring down swelling. You should also give your feet plenty of rest to reduce pressure.
A podiatrist can officially diagnose whether youre experiencing this condition or something else. So, if youre regularly feeling that burning, shooting pain or numbness in your toes or ball of your foot, make an appointment.
Metatarsalgia is an inflammation in the ball of your foot that usually develops gradually. This condition can be especially common for those who participate in intense or high-impact sports or activities that require running or jumping.
For many, the pain usually worsens when barefoot or during activity, and eases when theyre at rest. You may feel burning, aching or sharp pain in the bottom of your foot, and this may be paired with sharp pain, tingling or numbness in your toes.
Again, a podiatrist can provide an official diagnosis and recommend treatments tailored to your specific symptoms.
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Disparities In Plantar Fasciitis Treatment And Care
Although research is lacking, Steege speculates that some groups of people may not have access to the care they need to diagnose and treat plantar fasciitis. People who live in rural areas may have a harder time getting to a clinic, while those without health insurance may not be able to afford doctors visits, physical therapy, and treatments like corticosteroid injections and shockwave therapy.
If you look at some of the risk factors , like a higher BMI, that patient may not have access to care for other health conditions as well, Steege says.
Alternative And Complementary Therapy Options For Plantar Fasciitis
In addition to conventional care methods, acupuncture, a treatment modality commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine, may also be a safe and effective treatment option for plantar fasciitis.
Acupuncture is often used to treat pain and involves the insertion of thin needles through the skin at specific points in the body to redirect the flow of energy. The evidence suggests that stimulating the nerves, muscles, and connective tissue in specific areas helps boost your bodys natural pain-relieving abilities.
According to one review of eight studies published in the journal Acupuncture in Medicine in 2018, acupuncture was shown to be an effective treatment for heel pain and function in people with plantar fasciitis and is comparable to conventional interventions like stretching, night splints, or dexamethasone .
Another review, published in 2017 in the Singapore Medical Journal, found that acupuncture led to a significant reduction in plantar fasciitis pain during four to eight weeks of therapy, which suggests that it may be effective for short-term pain management. More research is needed to determine if acupuncture is effective for long-term pain management.
Acupuncture is generally considered to be safe, so long as the treatment is performed by a qualified practitioner. Most states require a license, certification, or registration to practice acupuncture.
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Some Of The Symptoms And Possible Causes Of Pain In The Bottom Of The Foot
|Symptoms Pain, swelling, bruising, started after intense or repetitive exercise||Possible cause sprained foot|
|Symptoms Sharp, burning or shooting pain near your toes , feels like a lump or small stone under your foot||Possible cause Morton’s neuroma|
|Symptoms Sharp pain between your arch and heel, feels worse when you start walking and better when resting, difficulty raising your toes off the floor||Possible cause plantar fasciitis|
|Symptoms No gap under your foot when you stand up, your foot presses flat on the floor||Possible cause flat feet|
Do not worry if you’re not sure what the problem is.
Follow the advice on this page and see your GP if the pain does not get better in 2 weeks.
Content supplied by the NHS and adapted for Ireland by the HSE
What Causes Pain In The Heel Of Your Foot
Plantar fasciitis in one of the most common causes of heel pain. What is it? Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia, the ligament that connects your heel to your toes. This inflammation is usually the result of strain, which can be caused by anything that puts a lot of pressure on the arch of your foot.
The most common plantar fasciitis symptoms are sharp pain near your heels after exercising or standing up for long periods of time, and pain during the first few steps after sleeping or rest. As the foot and calf muscles loosen up, the pain may lessen.
Sturdy shoes with good arch support whether built-in or from inserts are one of the best ways to relieve plantar fasciitis pain. Doing stretches to keep the surrounding muscles flexible can help, too.
If pain begins to worsen and increasingly affects daily activities, a podiatrist may recommend a night splint or a cortisone injection. In more serious cases, surgery can be an option after other treatments have stopped working.
Achilles tendinitis is an inflammation of the Achilles tendon, which connects your heel to your calf muscles, and helps make most foot movements possible. Achilles tendinitis is generally an overuse injury, and it can often be linked to an increase in activity frequency or intensity.
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What Is A Corn
Corns are yellowish, callus growths that develop on top of the toes. Corns develop because of abuse or stress. Often, a corn develops where a toe rubs against a shoe or another toe. Corns can cause extreme discomfort and pain. Treatment may include:
Trimming the corn by shaving the layers of dead skin
Applying pads around the corn area
Wearing larger shoes to comfortably fit your foot without rubbing
To avoid corn development, always buy shoes that fit properly.