Pain in the ball of the foot usually falls under the umbrella of “metatarsalgia.” This term describes any pain or inflammation in the metatarsal region, which includes the ball of the foot. Causes of metatarsalgia can vary and many remain unknown. Doctors may use metatarsalgia as a general diagnosis if they are unable to determine a more specific cause of ball of the foot pain.
A neuroma is a pinched nerve. Morton’s neuroma is a specific type that involves a thickening of the tissue around a nerve leading to the toes. This most commonly affects the ball of the foot between the third and fourth toes. Some people with Morton’s neuroma feel a sharp pain. Others experience numbness, burning, or tingling in their foot or toes. Minor Morton’s neuromas may feel more like discomfort as if there is a rock in the shoe or a fold in the sock.
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