The ball of your foot is that padded area just behind your toes. It is where the phalanges (the toe bones) meet up with the metatarsal heads (front ends of the long foot bones), which is why pain in this region is often called metatarsalgia.
This part of your forefoot experiences a huge amount of pressure when you walk, especially if you are wearing shoes with taller heels, or if you have a high arch that focuses your weight on your heel and the ball of your foot. For this reason, the metatarsal heads are prone to irritation, damage, and pain.
The risk increases if you have foot deformities like hammertoes and bunions, carry around extra weight, or wear shoes that cramp your feet. Pain is also likely if you have a stress fracture in one of the bones, or if you participate in training or sports activities that increase the impact on your forefoot. A common nerve problem called Morton’s neuroma can also cause discomfort in this area.
If you have ball of foot pain, give Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle Center in Lakewood, CO, a call at (303) 423-2520 and set up an appointment to see us.