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Pain Management Health Center

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Foot Pain

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Ball of Foot Pain

Metatarsalgia. You feel this pain and inflammation in the ball of your foot. Ill-fitting shoes are the usual cause. But you might get it from strenuous activity, such as running or jumping. It’s sometimes called a stone bruise as well. 

To treat it:

  • Take pain relievers.
  • Ice and rest your foot.
  • Wear comfortable footwear.
  • Try shoe inserts to relieve pressure on the ball of your foot.

Morton's neuroma causes a thickening of the tissue around the nerves between the bases of the toes (usually between the third and fourth toes). You typically feel pain, odd sensations or numbness over the ball of your foot. Women have it more often. It can be a result of wearing high heels or tight shoes.

To treat it:

  • Wear shoe inserts to reduce pressure on the nerve.
  • Get a steroid or other injection into the foot.
  • Take pain relievers.
  • Don’t wear high-heeled shoes or ones with a narrow toe box.
  • Avoid activities that put pressure on the neuroma.
  • Ask your doctor about surgery.

Sesamoiditis. Near your big toe are 2 bones that are connected only by tendons. They’re called sesamoids. You get sesamoiditis when the tendons surrounding them become injured and inflamed. It’s a form of tendinitis, common with runners and ballet dancers.

To treat it:

  • Rest your feet.
  • Ice where it hurts.
  • Wear a foot pad under the toe in a comfortable shoe.
  • Tape the big toe to immobilize the joint and allow for healing.
  • Wear low-heeled shoes.
  • Ask your doctor about steroid injections.

Arch Pain

Plantar fasciitis. This is the most common cause of arch pain. Plantar fasciitis can affect the heel, arch, or both. Treatment is the same regardless of the location. For persistent plantar fasciitis, an injection with a mixture of a steroid and local anesthetic can be helpful.

Fallen arches, or flat feet, happen when the arches of the feet flatten out (often when standing or walking), causing foot pain and other problems. Flat feet can be treated with shoe inserts, shoe adjustments, rest, ice, using a walking cane or brace, or physical therapy. Sometimes surgery is necessary.

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