Pain beneath the ball of the foot will be because of numerous things and frequently will get provided with the term, metatarsalgia. This is not a diagnosis as it could indicate a number of different problems which may very well be causing the symptom. Among the more common reasons for metatarsalgia can be a problem known as a plantar plate tear, although it may be a strain or perhaps a dysfunction. Around every joint will be ligaments that comprise a capsule which helps to keep the joint together and keeps the joint fluid within the joint. In the metatarsophalangeal joints in the front foot, that joint capsule at the base aspect is significantly thicker and more robust and is referred to as the plantar plate. This allows a great deal of stability for the joint, however it is in addition the subject of a lot of pressure whenever running or walking.
If a plantar plate tear occurs, there's initially pain underneath one of several lessor joints within the front foot. The pain can also be commonly just in front of the joint as well. As time passes those symptoms worsens. Ordinarily, there are lots of clinical tests which a skilled clinician are able to do to evaluate if a plantar plate tear is there and assess the stability of the joint. In the event that those assessments do not determine it, then a diagnostic ultrasound exam is often carried out to confirm its presence when it is still presumed clinically.
When a plantar plate injury comes about, they just don't mend by themselves and so they usually need some form of therapy to prevent it from advancing even more. The first thing that is often done is to decrease activity amounts if that is a possibility to allow the foot some rest. Ice along with pain medications may be used for the short term to deal with the signs and symptoms if they are bad, however they will not help deal with the problem, they may just make the pain more endurable. Strapping is often used to support the toe down in order to prevent it flex upwards (dorsiflexing). This is a very efficient solution to limit force on the plantar plate to permit the pain to get better. Normally, this is successful but can take a few months of use to find the complete benefit. The effective use of strapping, however, might be bothersome simply because it will have to be kept clean and continued being reapplied at regular time intervals. There are some wearable removable splints that you can use as opposed to the taping. A shoe that includes a rigid sole or a rocker sole can certainly be very handy for this as well as stiffer sole also can prevent movement with the joints and further reduce the force on the plantar plate.
Foot orthotics with metatarsal pads along with and indent to keep force from the sore area can be very beneficial. Most of these non-surgical techniques commonly will work, but it can take a little while. They must be stuck with provided that you will find a continuous improvement with the symptoms. In the event the pain is notably bad and the pain aren't getting better with these methods, then the operative option to fix the tear ought to be looked into.