Pain in back of ball of foot

Dear Doctor,

I have a pain that is occurring toward the back of the ball of the foot, at the beginning of the arch on my left foot.

This pain has never occurred before – it suddenly started when I was nursing a broken toe on my right foot, and was forced to limp around wearing a foot brace. It is a very sharp pain, and it is located just behind the large bone of the ball of the foot. It began several days into nursing my broken toe, and hurts just at the start of taking a step, right when the left foot touches the ground. There is no swelling, discoloration, or any other external issues.

The most unusual aspect is that the pain began a month ago. After a couple of days, just as suddenly, it disappeared – but is now recurring. During the entire period in between, there was no pain whatsoever.

Would you be able to provide any insight into the pain, and what next steps do you recommend?

Thank you!

One Response

  1. Foot-com

    Thank you for the question.

    It sounds like you are describing plantar fasciitis or heel pain. Classically presenting with pain 1st step in the morning or after a period of rest, plantar fasciitis can be caused by increase stress or pressure to one foot over the other. If you were recovering from a fracture on the right foot, you would naturally shift your body weight to the left foot. When I have a patient with plantar fasciitis or heel pain, I begin by controlling the inflammation and reducing the stress to the soft tissue. You can ice the area or take over-the-counter inflammatories (as long as you do not have any allergies or stomach issues) and will want to begin stretching the calves daily. Often times patients with plantar fasciitis have restricted ankle mobility which increases the stress placed on the heel. If you continue to feel the pain in your foot, I would see a Podiatrist who can take an Xray and do a full evaluation.

    Good luck!

    Dr. Emily Splichal
    Please be advised: we do not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
    By law, we cannot give specific medical advice over the Internet.

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