What Causes Pain in the Toes and Ball of the Foot?

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Metatarsalgia, Morton’s neuroma, sesamoiditis, hammer toe and claw toe all cause pain in the toes and ball of the foot, explains WebMD. Arthritis and gout can also cause toe pain. Neuropathy, trauma and tendinitis can cause pain throughout the entire foot.

Metatarsalgia occurs when the ball of the foot becomes bruised, usually during running or other activities, states WebMD. This bruise heals with time, although the patient should rest and ice the foot until the pain diminishes. The patient can prevent repeat bruises by purchasing shoes that cushion the ball of the foot.

Morton’s neuroma occurs when the tissue around the nerve thickens, causing pain and numbness, notes WebMD. Women who wear high-heeled shoes are more prone to this condition and should avoid those shoes and wear cushioning inserts.

Sesamoiditis causes pain because the tendons connecting to the big toe become inflamed, according to WebMD. The patient can reduce pain by taping the big toe and icing the area.

Joints at the base or the ends of toes can get bent from nerve damage or poor footwear, causing hammer or claw toe, as WebMD explains. Although surgery can help to correct this problem, stretching exercises and shoe inserts are non-surgical treatment options.