Swelling in the ball of the foot can be caused by metatarsalgia or sesamoiditis, according to WebMD. The swelling may be accompanied by pain, itchiness, redness or stiffness, notes Healthgrades.
Metatarsalgia, also called a stone bruise, is a condition caused by strenuous activity such as running or jumping. Shoes that do not fit properly may also cause this condition, adds WebMD. Treatment for this condition includes over-the-counter pain medicines, icing and resting the afflicted foot, wearing more comfortable shoes, and using shoe inserts that help relieve pressure from the ball of the foot.
Sesamoiditis happens when the tendons near the big toe are injured and swollen, according to WebMD. Treatment for this condition includes strict rest, ice, wearing a foot pad in the shoe, steroid injections and wearing shoes with low heels. Tapping the big toe to immobilize the joint also helps promote healing.
The severity of the swelling depends on the underlying cause, notes Healthgrades. Standing for long periods of time may cause minor swelling, while a broken bone or sprain causes severe swelling. Heart failure or arthritis may also cause the foot to swell. Injury-induced swelling usually occurs immediately, and swelling from medical conditions may develop slowly and get worse over time.