Why Do the Balls of My Feet Hurt? (Metatarsalgia)

It can be very frustrating when normal daily activities are inhibited because your feet are so painful that you are unable to walk normally. Some individuals experience such intense pain in the balls of their feet that walking becomes prohibitive and painful. This condition is medically referred to as metatarsalgia. The good news is that it can often be treated at home without the need to visit your podiatrist. However, if the condition worsens or is too intense for at-home treatments, a visit to your podiatrist is in order. If you are located in the New York City area, Best Foot Doctor is an expert in treating metatarsalgia and can help evaluate your condition and provide treatment.

What Causes Metatarsalgia?

There are a variety of reasons that the balls of your feet may hurt. This pain is often described in one or more of the following four ways.

  1. Burning or aching sensation in the ball of your foot
  2. Shooting pain in the feet
  3. Tingling or numbness in your toes
  4. Feel you are walking on a small stone or ball

These symptoms may be a sign of metatarsalgia and should be treated as soon as possible. 

The causes for metatarsalgia can be varied and complex, but here are five of the most common reasons that people develop pain in the balls of their feet.

  1. Badly fitting footwear – this is a common cause of many foot conditions. Restrictive footwear that is too tight or narrow puts painful pressure on your joints and pushes the small bones of your feet out of alignment. Avoid wearing ill-fitting footwear as much as possible.
  2. High-impact sports can cause or aggravate this condition. Try lighter activities like biking or swimming instead of running or tennis to relieve pressure on your feet.
  3. Carrying extra weight can cause or worsen metatarsalgia. If you are overweight or obese, even a 10% reduction in weight can make a huge difference.
  4. Unusual foot structure can be a risk factor for developing this condition. Individuals with flat feet or high arches could be more likely to have pain in the balls of their feet.
  5. Pre-existing joint and foot conditions like Morton’s neuroma, bunions, bursitis, hammer toes, or gout can cause or aggravate metatarsalgia.

How to Treat Pain in the Balls of My Feet?

The good news for those who suffer from pain in the balls of their feet is that this is usually a condition that can be treated at home. Here are some ways that you can relieve pain and help your feet heal. 

  • Rest your feet and put them up regularly.
  • Avoid high-impact sports involving running or jumping.
  • Ice the affected area for around 20 minutes several times a day when possible.
  • Choose comfortable supportive footwear like flat shoes that have plenty of room for your feet and have a well-cushioned sole.
  • Shock-absorbing pads or insoles can help cushion your feet while walking or exercising.
  • Maintain a healthy weight by choosing healthy foods and doing frequent low-impact exercises to help lose weight if you are overweight.
  • Over-the-counter pain medication can be used to treat pain and reduce swelling.

How to Find A Foot Doctor for Metatarsalgia in New York City (NYC)

We understand it can be difficult to find a doctor who listens to you and can treat your foot conditions. Our podiatrist here at Best Foot Doctor is located in the Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens areas and is ready to help. If the balls of your feet hurt and the treatment options listed above don’t bring relief, contact us. You can schedule an appointment with him by calling our offices.

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