Pain ball of right foot (Read 2115 times)

    I have a pain in the ball of my right foot. It's a generalized pain more or less centered at the base of my middle three toes. It's related to total mileage, to speed, and probably the fact that my right leg is 30 mm longer than my left leg. It has been bothering me on and off for several years. Only my right foot and only while running. Slow down to a walk and it goes away completely. I can grab, pinch, and twist my foot and feel nothing related to the pain. The doctor (a GP and marathoner) looked at X-rays and saw nothing abnormal.



    I use Superfeet Green insoles in my running shoes. I tried a Profoot pad in the location recommended on the package. It may have helped slightly. Then I moved the pad to the rear so that the front edge of the pad was slightly behind the pain area. That helped more. It's worse with the Brooks Addiction shoes that I use in the summer, and better with the Brooks Adrenaline ASR winter running shoes. I am currently using the Adrenaline shoes.



    It's worse this year than the last several years, bad enough that something needs to be done. I'm looking for advice. Different shoes? Orthotics? PT? Barefoot running? Something else?



      I had a callus in the painful area.  That callus got slightly smaller with the Profoot pads in their original location, and went away completely when I moved the pads to their present location. 

        Podiatrist can probably help. Could be many things. A broad term is metatarsalgia. Could be a flexor issue - flexor digitorum longus tendonitis. OR, just flat out overuse. Have you considered some time off? Do you ice?  Try this.  Go buy some heel cups, and try to do a run in them. I would be curious to see if it feels better. This would tell me more. Also, get that area nice and loose before a run - massage, toe grabs on towel etc. Report back......I am not an expert but have seen all kinds of things over the years.

        Those who try, fail! Those who do what it takes to succeed, succeed!!

          I had / have almost the same issue.  Pain was behind the joint of the second toe, turns out that toe is longer than big toe and that can be a problem for some reason.  For a while I cut out a piece of mole foam padding so it covered the width of my foot but with a space under the joint.  This helped but the pain would come back when I stopped adding the padding.  I had stopped wearing my superfeet about 3 months earlier and tried going back to them and the problem got much better.


          One thing I have noticed with superfeet is that on the oranges and greens the plastic under the arch tends to crack after 700 to 1000 miles.  Take a look at yours and make sure they are not cracked.  They might just not be doing the job they should.  The cracks are really fine and you usually have to flex the plastic to see it, but they will run the length and ruin the support.


          I have also noticed that the problem comes and goes with shoes too.  A pair of Brooks launches tend be more likely to cause then problem than my kinvaras or Asics Sky Speeds.


          I had gone to the podiatrist, they did an x-ray which didn't show anything significant, and the diagnosis was pretty much a non-specific inflammation of the joint.

          Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul.

            I had modified the Brooks Adrenaline shoes shortly after buying them by grinding down the heels.  Before grinding, the forefoot would slap down.  The slapping stopping after grinding.  I'm leery of adding heel height.  I also have a 1/4" lift built into my left insole, which is about as much as I can tolerate and still fit in the shoe. 


            My second toes are longer than the big toes.  I checked the Superfeet and no cracks.  You must have Destructo-Feet (TM) because my insoles have several thousand miles on them. 


            I can try icing, massage/stretching, and different pads. 

              Well, I tried tinkering with Mole Foam on the Superfeet, bought a couple other insoles, and bought a pair of Brooks Adrenaline GTS shoes.  The Mole Foam and GTS each seemed to help a little.  Icing did the trick.  I've been icing after every run, and have been pain free for a week now.  It's a little early to declare success, but the pain free running is ABSOLUTELY GREAT! 


                I am late coming into this post - but, you may want to consider seeing an podiatrist.


                My wife had the oain at the balls of her foot thing and the podiatrist diagnosed it as neuralgia. If this is not caught early, it can become chronic.


                In the beginning, the universe was created.This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.

                --- Douglas Adams, in "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe"

                Oh roo roooo!

                  This sounds a lot like what my hub was just DX'd with.  Apparently he has a neuroma, and the location of your pain sounds the same.  Also the fact that moving your pad to just behind the pain area helped--this is exactly what he was told to do w/the pads given to him by the podiatrist.  He also got a cortisone injection and instructions to ice and try to stay off it as much as possible.  (His job is a stand-up factory job, so he has NOT been off of it....)


                  Anyway, you can research "neuroma" on the web pretty easily and maybe go ahead and see a podiatrist rather than your GP.  Neuromas can indeed become chronic, so if that IS the problem, you probably should get it taken care of before that is the case and a more radical solution like surgery becomes necessary.


                  Best wishes! 


                  ETA:  Since it is the nerve being pinched between the bones of the foot near the toes that causes a neuroma, there will be nothing on x-rays, as the soft tissue of the nerve does not show up--just to address one possible reason your x-rays may have shown nothing when you clearly have  a problem going on.