What is that pain at the ball of my foot?
There are two common causes of pain at the ball of the foot, or “fore foot”. These are called a neuroma or bursitis.
But what is bursitis or neuroma?
A bursitis is an inflammation of the bursae in the foot. Bursae are fluid filled sacs that are all over the body in weight bearing areas, or areas subjected to high amounts of stress. They cushion the area like pillows, but sometimes they become inflamed, causing pain, and a common site is in the fore foot.
A neuroma is a build up of fatty tissue on a nerve, causing burning/tingling pains or even numbness. This is most common at the fore foot also, as the nerves run between the toe bones and can be easily irritated. These can be extremely uncomfortable and painful.
A bursal-neuronal complex is a combination of a bursitis and a neuroma. It is very common for the two conditions to occur together, which is why they are considered for treatment in the same way. Bursal-neuronal complexes are diagnosed via ultrasound sonography, which your podiatrist can refer you for. Once the diagnosis is clear, treatment for the complex, or the conditions individually, is usually similar. Padding, taping, orthotics, and footwear modifications are things that can be done by your podiatrist. Sometimes further intervention is needed that only a surgeon can provide. Your podiatrist will advise you on the best possible treatment.
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