Having a strong foundation is just as important to humans as it is houses. Without one in place, structural damage and collapse are possible. In humans, the feet are our foundation and ball of foot pain is one of the many things may cause it to weaken. Thankfully, ball of foot pain may be resolved by visiting a St. Louis podiatrist office.
Podiatrists know that ball of foot pain is often brought on by damage to the sesamoids. These are small, round bones that are located underneath a person’s big toe joint. Like other bones in our feet, sesamoids are connected to tendons and serve several functions. In this case, they help our big toes move and function similar to shock absorbers every time we put pressure onto the balls of our feet.
That said, excessive pressure and overuse may cause the bones to fracture. It may also cause the surrounding tendons, muscles and soft tissue to become inflamed or otherwise injured. The only way that your podiatrist is going to know the exact cause of the pain and the extent of the damage is to conduct a series of tests and examinations. For instance, a podiatrist may order a scan of the sesamoids to look for fractures and visually examine the patient’s foot for any deformities or fibrous tissue growths.
Afterward, your podiatrist might ask about your lifestyle and footwear choices as well review your health history. That’s because certain activities, footwear choices and preexisting health problems have a tendency to impact the sesamoids, soft tissue, muscles and tendons too. Examples of comorbidities that may contribute towards ball of foot pain are obesity, displaced metatarsal heads, avascular necrosis and inflammatory diseases (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis).
How podiatry office staff chooses to treat a patient’s ball of foot pain will depend on several factors. Take someone who has displaced metatarsal heads, very little fatty pad left, and hairline fractured sesamoids. The podiatrists may order rest and medications to address the hairline fractures, pain and inflammation. Then, they may recommend that the patient wear custom-made orthotics to rebalance the metatarsal heads and bolster the foot’s padding. To learn more about ball of foot pain and the various ways that podiatrists deal with it, please contact a St. Louis podiatry office near you.