Dr Brandon Nelson, A Board-Certified Physician and Surgeon, Discusses Ball of Foot Pain

Dr Brandon Nelson, A Board-Certified Physician and Surgeon, Discusses Ball of Foot Pain


Ball of foot pain usually refers to pain in one’s feet right before or near where the toes start. This is a common area to experience pain and can be attributed to quite a few pathologies. Typically, we see certain foot structures that are associated with ball of foot pain, and these include high arched feet or a foot with a bunion deformity. These foot types can develop to two most common forefoot pathologies which are capsulitis or neuritis.

Capsulitis or metatarsalgia can create pain in the ball of one’s foot especially with activities. Most people that have capsulitis will see some swelling and sharp or a bruised type of sensation. It appears to be most common in the 2nd metatarsal and has a slow progression to worsening symptoms. Shoe gear usually makes it feel better and often there is some instability in the foot itself.

Neuritis or neuromas are often isolated to the 3rd interspace of the foot. We usually see this more often in females as opposed to males. Typically, it will be a burning or tingling type feeling. Shoes often exasperate the symptoms and foot structure does not usually have much of an influence on this pathology.

There are many different techniques to diagnosis and treat capsulitis, metatarsalgia or neuromas. It is important to obtain and x-ray and a thorough evaluation of the foot itself. There are a few instances where more advanced imaging like an MRI can provide some value. Treatment for either pathology is conservative in most cases and has a high resolution rate.

If you are suffering from ball of foot pain, make an appointment today and I will help you get back on your feet! 425-391-8666

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