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Foot Pain


Ball of Foot Pain continued...

Morton's neuroma is thickening of the tissue around the nerve between the bases of the toes (usually between the third and fourth toes). Foot pain, odd sensations, or numbness over the ball of the foot are the usual symptoms.  It is more common in women and can be a result of wearing high heels or tight shoes. 

Morton's neuroma treatment includes: 

  • Shoe inserts to reduce pressure on the nerve.
  • Steroid or other injection into the area of foot pain
  • Pain relievers
  • Surgery (occasionally) 

Sesamoiditis occurs when tendons around the big toe are injured and inflamed. Treatment for sesamoiditis includes: 

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Wearing a foot pad under the toe in a comfortable shoe
  • Wearing low-heeled shoes
  • Steroid injections


Arch Pain

Arch pain is most often caused by plantar fasciitis, which can affect the heel, arch, or both. Plantar fasciitis treatment is the same, regardless of the location of foot pain (see above). For persistent plantar fasciitis, an injection with a mixture of a steroid and local anesthetic can be helpful. 

Fallen arches -- or flat feet -- occurs 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 (orthotics), shoe adjustments, rest/ice, using a walking case or brace, or physical therapy. Occasionally, surgery is necessary.

Toe Pain

Arthritis, including gout, can cause pain in the toes.  Gout  is an inflammatory condition in which crystals periodically deposit in joints, causing severe pain and swelling. The big toe is often affected by gout.


Treatment for gout includes: 

  • Rest
  • Medication such as colchicine, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medications, or prednisone
  • Pain relievers
  • Daily medication and diet restriction to prevent gout attacks 

A bunion (hallux valgus) is a bony prominence along the edge of the foot, next to the base of the big toe. Bunions may occur in anyone, but are often caused by ill-fitting footwear in women. Hammer toes often occur with bunions. 

Bunion treatment includes:

  • Changing to more comfortable shoes; if this is unsuccessful in relieving foot pain, orthotics may be tried. If those are unsuccessful, surgery might be considered.

Hammer toe occurs when the near joint in the toe is bent, creating a hammer-like appearance. Wearing tight shoes is the main cause of hammer toe. 

Claw toe occurs when the joint at the end of a toe may become unable to straighten, causing the toe to point down or up. Irritation of the feet and other feet problems may develop, without special footwear to accommodate the claw toe. 

Treatment of hammer toe and claw toe includes: 

  • Changing to better-fitting footwear; avoiding high heels and tight shoes
  • Stretching exercises for toes and toe joints
  • Shoe inserts
  • Orthotics
  • Surgery may sometimes be necessary 
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