Posted on May 19, 2019

Ball of the Foot

The ball of the foot is home to many structures that can be injured during running.  These include nerves that can become swollen and painful, leading to a sharp or hot pain in the ball of the foot as well as possible numbness or tingling in the two toes the nerve supplies sensation to.  This is called a neuroma.  Other injuries can occur to the tissue that binds the joints together in the ball of the foot at the base of the toes.  The long bones called metatarsals form part of these joints, and these bones are subjected to enormous stress that can lead to a stress fracture or even a full fracture depending on the running surface and level of shoe support.


Many runners forget about their toes, but these are among the easiest parts of the foot to injure.  Running injuries in the toes often include pressure damage to the nails, leading to bruising of the nail, inflamed ingrown toenails, and even loss of the nail entirely.  Damaged nails can sometimes grow thick and disfigured, leading to further pain.  Painful corns can also develop on the toes due to the pressure from poorly fitting running shoes, and, although not directly caused by running, athlete’s foot fungus can infect and thrive in the spaces in between the toes due to excessive sweating.

The good news is that all of these conditions are all treatable, but treatment does often require the expertise of a specialist to get you quickly running again.  That’s where I come in.  I’m experienced in treating injuries and pain in athletes of all levels, including runners.  If your feet continue to hurt during or after a run, it is important to realize that this is not normal and needs to be looked at.  Many serious foot injuries start off small and worsen over time when the pain they cause is ignored.  Let our team fix the problems early so you can keep running.