Pain in the ball of the foot is usually caused by damaged nerves or abnormal metatarsal joints and it is most likely that it will lead to some other disorder causing pain in the same location.
Freiberg’s disease is when necrosis occurs in some part of the bones in the ball of foot, right next to the big toe. It is usually caused by a bone injury.
Pain gets worse when carrying weight and when wearing high heels and the joints get swollen and stiff. One relieves the pain by injections of corticosteroids and by wearing a cast.
Interdigital nerve pain is caused by irritation or the noncancerous growths of nerves and is usually recognized by mild pain of the toes that slowly progresses to a sensation of burning or tingling. Corticosteroids and cryotherapy usually relieve all symptoms.
Neuroma usually develops in just one foot and is more common among women. Mild aches, combined with tingling and burning sensations that are even more pronounced when wearing pointy and high heeled shoes, are the most common symptoms. The condition usually progresses with the burning sensation being more present.
The symptoms usually get relieved by injecting a mixture of local anesthetic and corticosteroids and then wearing proper shoes with optional orthoses. Cryotherapy and alcohol injections are also good in relieving the symptoms of neuroma. If the two previous methods don’t help, a surgical removal of neuroma may take place, but it can leave the area permanently numb.
Metatarsal joint pain comes from a bad alignment of joint surfaces and destroyed cartilage in the joints or rheumatoid arthritis. Heat and swelling are common for this condition. Sometimes osteoarthritis or stiffening of the joints may be the causes of the pain. The pain is present when walking and sometimes can be disabling over time. Foot orthoses with its weight redistribution properties provides a very effective treatment. If those do not help, surgery is most likely needed.
Sesamoiditis is pain surrounding the small bone below the metatarsal head and it comes from a repeated injury. Sometimes the bone gets fractured and inflammation occurs. Walking and certain types of shoes usually worsen the pain. Sometimes just avoiding wearing the shoes that cause trouble can be enough to relieve the symptoms. If that does not help, then proper shoes with low heels, sometimes combined with orthoses will usually do the job fine. Inflammation can be reduced by taking NSAID drugs and pain usually goes away with injections of corticosteroids.