The ball of your foot experiences a lot of pressure throughout the day when you walk and stand, and there are also several medical conditions that can affect your feet. It's not surprising that this part of your foot can become sore. Pain in the ball of your foot often develops gradually and can be sharp or dull. Pain may be the only symptoms you experience, but you may also develop localised swelling or redness. So, what are the possible causes of this type of pain? Read on to learn about four common causes of foot pain that affects the ball of your foot.
Lots of walking, running or playing high-impact sports can put excessive stress on the joints and muscles at the front of your feet, particularly if you aren't wearing supportive footwear. This stress can cause inflammation that may initially subside when you rest, but it often becomes constant when not addressed.
Stiff Achilles Tendon
Your Achilles tendon can become stiff as a result of wearing inappropriate footwear for exercise or from engaging in bad exercise habits and techniques. When your Achilles tendon stiffens, weight distribution across your foot becomes skewed, and there can be too much pressure on the ball of your foot.
Arthritis can affect the joints anywhere in your body, leaving them inflamed and sensitive to even the lightest pressure. When the joints at the front of your foot are affected, walking and standing can cause pain in the ball of the foot, and you may need to put your feet up at regular intervals to find relief.
Those with type 2 diabetes are prone to developing a condition called peripheral neuropathy. This can damage the peripheral nerves in the front of the foot and lead to you experiencing a burning pain in the ball of the foot, which may or may not be triggered by putting weight on the foot.
How Can A Podiatrist Help?
Pain in the ball of the foot can be debilitating and prevent you from getting around and engaging in physical activity that you enjoy. If your pain lasts for more than a week or so, book a podiatry appointment. A podiatrist can diagnose the cause of the foot pain and formulate a treatment plan to help you recover. Treatment may include a period of rest, massage or targeted exercises that will strengthen the muscles in the front of your foot and release tension. You may also be prescribed made to order orthotic insoles that will provide support to the front of your foot by altering the distribution of weight across your foot. This can allow the muscles and joints at the front of your foot to recover.
If you'd like to learn more about how pain in the ball of your foot can be treated, consult with your podiatrist.