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Phone: (760) 568 - 0108
Dr. Harvey R. Danciger

What Causes Pain in the Ball of Your Foot?

Dr. Harvey Danciger
Dr. Harvey Danciger is a podiatrist and foot surgeon in Palm Desert, CA specializing in the foot and ankle

"Today I want to talk about some causes of what we call “pain in the ball of the foot” or medically, “metatarsalgia”. Metatarsalgia is when there is pain in the ball of the foot, which is typically located about here on the foot; this corresponds to the similar location in the hand which is behind the toes in the foot. Pain in the ball of the foot can be from a number of different causes. Some of the more common ones are, for people who have a very high arched foot, they have toes which bend up, and they’re severe hammertoes, and that causes the metatarsal bones to be pushed lower, and you’re walking on that. There’s a thinning of the pad of fat that is normally in that area, and you can get pain from the stress of walking on that type of a foot, where the fat pad is thinner, and sometimes it gets pushed forward underneath the toes.

Another problem can be from arthritis, and various other bone problems around the joint, which can cause stiffness, burning pain, and what we call metatarsalgia. A further issue can be related to nerve problems. Nerve problems can be from a compression of the nerve going between the long bones, which are the metatarsal bones underneath the foot, and it can get compressed, causing burning sensation and pain. Another can be from an injury, or a fracture to the area. That can cause pain and swelling and discomfort in the ball of the foot. Certain diseases can cause pain in the ball of the foot, with various tingling and burning sensations as well, with vitamin problems, certain thyroid diseases, and kidney diseases. If you’re having pain in the ball of the foot that’s not responding to you treating it with some anti-inflammatory medications, icing, or rest, give us a call at 760-568-0108 or schedule an appointment online."