Pain in the ball of the foot can be due to many factors. Pain in the front of the foot can develop in the joints or the soft tissues around the joints. Here I explore the three most common causes of ball of foot pain that we see in our podiatry clinic.

Morton’s Neuroma is most commonly seen in women, this condition is due to compression of the interdigital nerve as it runs along the bones in the ball of the foot. The symptoms of a Morton’s Neuroma can include shooting pains into the toes, numbness and a “stone bruise” sensation. Pain is usually worse when standing and can be exacerbated by wearing high heels or tight shoes

Bunions are more common in women and approximately 70% of sufferers have a family history of bunions. A bony prominence develops on the side of the first toe joint and can present with or without pain. It is a progressive deformity, meaning it will get worse with time. Difficulty with fitting footwear is a common issue as poor fitting footwear can increase the pain associated with the condition.

Synovitis of the joints is due to increased pressure resulting in inflammation of the joint capsule and the lining of the capsule. The joint capsule becomes stretched and causes instability at the joint. If synovitis is not managed appropriately can lead to deformity. Factors that can increase the risk of development of synovitis include bunion deformity and a short first metatarsal.

Other causes of ball of foot pain include plantar plate tear, arthritic conditions and stress fractures. At Podicare your podiatrist will take a thorough medical history and may request medical imaging to diagnose the cause of the pain. Once diagnosed an individual treatment plan will be developed for you, the patient.


Veronica Strange, Podiatrist