On Tuesday, June 10th you are invited to go toe-to-toe with foot pain with Deaconess Hospital. Named after the person who originally described it, Freiberg's disease refers to pain in the ball of the foot due to damage to the front of the metatarsal bones. I have had a hard time being comfortable in my skates. In a way I consider having plantar fasciitis a blessing. Metatarsalgia causes chronic pain in the ball of the foot, often descibed by sufferers as having a 'pebble in the shoe' or by other people as a 'burning sensation', often combined with excess callous forming. Ball of Foot Pain occurs when the metatarsal bones drop and the surrounding ligaments weaken. The forefoot structure collapses, resulting in excess pressure and friction under the ball of the foot. The human foot has two arches: the Longitudinal arch (your instep) and the Transverse arch. Your feet will carry you the equivalent of five times around the world during your lifetime! This is very common in the great toe joint, where motion upon walking becomes limited and eventually painful. If left untreated, damage to cartilage can seriously weaken the joint, often leading to altered gait and limited activities due to pain. Pain and stiffness caused by cartilage destruction develop slowly as a result of years of everyday living and pounding. In more resistant cases, reconstructive surgery is needed to give improvement in joint motion and the benefit of reduced pain. The goals of surgery are different for each individual and will need to be discussed with us. While surgical care will not cure arthritis or completely restore the joint to its natural health, it will ease pain and make daily activities more manageable. The pain can be dull or sharp, constant or intermittent. For others, flat feet develop later in life, due to arthritis, an injury or a ruptured tendon of the foot. For others again, flat feet may be due to a loose ligament the the heel joint (subtalar joint) or at the base of the big toe. Rolling in of the foot is called "pronation" and since the feet of these people roll in more than normal, they are said to be "over-pronating". The effects of flat feet develop slowly, and result from flat feet's long-term damage on the body's joints. Some lucky people with flat feet never will suffer any discomfort at all. See what orthotics can do for you by visiting the orthotics page. Early diagnosis and treatment is essential. The other things that can cause pain in the foot, you could have a neuroma which is a swollen nerve due to pressure on the foot, you could have broken skin, you could have a callus or a corn under the sole of your foot, these can be dealt with quite easily by a professional or if it is just a callus or a corn you could try filing it. If it's due from constant pressure during the day it's very advisable to use a foot bath in the evening. Rest your feet in a warm foot bath for ten minutes and this should help. Avoid doing high-impact, cardio activities when in pain. These will cause your joints to become further inflamed and increase the pain and discomfort. The hip region is one of the most commonly affected areas that can be afflicted by pain. I have a lot of pain in my left hip. Like metatarsalgia, neuroma can develop on any nerve in the body, but the most common place for it to show up is on the ball of the foot, at the base of the toes. In order to come to the correct diagnosis, your doctor should perform a simple exam of your foot using his or her fingers to look for a lump or bruise in the ball of the foot. He or she will also examine your foot to look for deformities Bunion Pain such as high or low arches, measure the length of the second toe, or to see if you have hammertoes. If you spend a lot of time running or jumping, you may be more susceptible to metatarsalgia. Most treatment options are self-care methods. The treatment you will receive will be based on the cause of the metatarsalgia. Over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen can reduce pain and inflammation. A number of internal and external factors can cause these problems. Structural problems refer to abnormalities in the metatarsals themselves. Sometimes your metatarsals can grow too long and change the mechanics of your feet. Functional problems refer to abnormalities in other foot structures that then affect the metatarsals and cause metatarsalgia. If, for example, someone has flat feet, the lack of arches could affect how he or she walks, putting excess strain on the metatarsals. External factors include excess body weight, tight or high-heeled shoes and repetitive foot activity. Excess weight can overload the metatarsals and affect the way people walk, which can cause joint pain and nerve irritation. If you are athletic, you want to make sure that you choose a good athletic shoe for your type of foot.