The ball of the foot where the metatarsal bones of the middle toes are located is particularly susceptible to irritation from all the stress and pressure that repeatedly pound the area during walking and playing sports. One of the conditions that can cause extreme pain and discomfort in this area is metatarsal syndrome. This condition is similar to the more common condition called carpal tunnel syndrome that affects the wrists.
Developing metatarsal syndrome is associated with the following risk factors and injuries:
- Working out and playing too hard—People who participate in rigorous and potentially high-impact activities including football and basketball are more susceptible to developing metatarsal syndrome and similar conditions.
- Stress fractures—Stress or hairline fractures in the toe bones (metatarsal bones) may be the cause of pain in this area. Imaging studies such as an x-ray or MRI are necessary to confirm the development of a stress fracture
- Wearing poorly-fitting or worn out footwear—Try to avoid wearing athletic shoes that are too old and excessively worn since they won’t provide the proper support. Always have a computerized gait analysis done by your foot doctor to determine which shoes and orthotic inserts are right for you.
- Foot neuroma—This is a type of nerve disorder that often occurs between the third and fourth toes and can cause considerable pain, numbness, and discomfort.
Pain in the ball of your foot can be triggered by conditions that have very similar symptoms to metatarsalgia, so always see your foot doctor for the proper diagnosis and treatment. The foot specialists at ETL Podiatry in Briarwood and Melville, NY, have unparalleled experience in treating all aspects of foot and ankle problems. Our team of doctors is dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, NY (631)-549-8637 and Briarwood, NY (718)-657-8921.