What Are the Treatments for Pain in the Ball of Foot?


Metatarsalgia, pain in the ball of the foot, can be a distraction to everyday activities for most people. According to the Mayo Clinic, causes range from wearing shoes that do not fit properly to being overly active on your feet to being overweight. The condition, although sometimes painful, is not considered serious. Many treatments can be performed at home and, in some rare cases, there are medical options to consider if the condition fails to improve.


  • The function of any treatment is to treat the pain and inflammation that can aggravate the ball of the foot. Most doctors believe treatment can be completed at home because the injury is relatively simple to treat according to Foot.com. Metatarsal bones in the foot are usually put under increased strain, which results in pain. To improve symptoms, stress must be taken off the metatarsal bones.

Home Treatments

  • The most widely recommended treatment is plenty of rest, which means staying off the ball of the foot. Icing the injured area to reduce inflammation will also improve the injury. If pain is severe, over the counter pain relievers may be used. Adding shoe cushions and arch supports can help you deal with metatarsalgia, especially if the pain is caused by ill fitting shoes.

Medical Treatment

  • In some cases, home treatments will not be enough to deal with metatarsalgia according to the Mayo Clinic. The main options a doctor will typically recommend is a prescription for coping with any discomfort and surgery. In some cases, surgery will be necessary to realign the metatarsal bones in the foot, which will help reduce the pressure on the foot.


  • After proper treatment, when you return to normal daily activities to keep the pain from returning, it is essential to take proper steps to avoid metatarsalgia again, recommends EMedicine. Wearing proper shoes and losing weight are among the best things you can do to avoid a repeat episode.


  • Even though metatarsalgia is a relatively simple condition to treat, it is important to understand that the issue needs to be addressed efficiently. The Mayo Clinic says that if left untreated, metatarsalgia can lead to increased pain in other parts of the foot and even in the legs due to a possible limp. Visiting a podiatrist is the first step when dealing with pain in the ball of your foot. The course of treatment will be decided based on the degree of the injury, but it is important to follow the instructions of a medical professional to avoid further complications.

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  • Photo Credit "Red nail toe" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: Leonid Mamchenkov (Leonid Mamchenkov) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.
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