I've got the ball of foot pain blues! I really do! I have had them on and off for over a year now and it is time to come out and share with you all why things like this happen and what keeps me pain-free and happy!
Pain under the ball the foot is known as "Metatarsalgia" in the podiatry world. Where your pain is in your forefoot makes a big difference on what your problem in particular could be. Mine happens to be underneath where my second toe, next to the big toe, attaches to the forefoot. This seems to be a pretty common area.
The reasons for things hurting in this area are either because you have toes that are bent (hammertoes) which put pressure under the ball the foot (not my problem); you have a lot of flexibility in the front part of the foot (the forefoot) which puts increased pressure under this area (not my problem); you have a bunion which makes your foot unstable, putting pressure under the ball the foot were the second toe attaches (not my problem); you have a whopper callus underneath the forefoot (not my problem); you have a fracture from some injury (not my problem) or you've done some pounding, hopping, or other "impact" type exercises for some time (BINGO for me!). This is common in runners and in high impact aerobics or jump-roping.
But enough about why I got pain in this area and let's move on to why you could have pain in other areas under the ball the foot. Well, it just so happens that pain in any area under the ball of the foot can be caused by any of the above-mentioned reasons! And for the most part, every reason mentioned above, other than the direct impact or other injury, is because of the type of foot you were born with!
The good news is, you can go back to having a pain-free life like I have by seeing a podiatrist (how convenient for me)! My self-treatment was a concoction of a custom-made orthotic with padding in the right places, physical therapy and toning down the impact exercises for while. Oh, and no way on the high heels or flip flops! These shoes make is way worse!! Do not wait too long to have your foot checked out or the dreaded cortisone injection or, heaven forbid, surgery may be inevitable! I haven't had to go there in over a year now and I don't expect to anytime soon. In fact, now that I think about it, I haven't been singing the blues for while! Thank God! I like to run, jump and play with the other kids! Another reason why I love my profession!