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Rudi asked...

Pain on ball of foot

I have been suffering with pain under my left foot. It started in the ball of my foot where it makes contact with my car's clutch pedal and now has moved to the heel as well. I have modified my clutch pedal to provide a larger area for me to push on. Although this has alleviated it to a certain extent the pain is still there. Any advice?

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The answer

Foot pain is a fairly common concern which can be as a result of many things including injury to the foot, medical conditions such as arthritis and diabetes as well as due to the overstretching of the muscles in the foot.

Rudi, from what you describe we suspect that you may have Plantar Fasciitis which is a condition where the plantar fascia which runs from the ball of the foot to the ankle has become strained and inflamed.

Plantar Fasciitis is common in people who are on their feet a lot, aged 40-60 and also in those who are over weight. It usually occurs over a period of time and tends to be worse at the beginning and end of the day.

The other possibility is that you have Morton’s Neuroma which is when the nerves around the toes become inflamed and thickened and this can cause pain around the toes and ball of the foot however it does not usually extend down to the heel.

Morton’s Neuroma is common in those who women, runners and those wearing tight footwear which create pressure around the ball of the foot when pressure is applied by putting your foot to the ground.

Treatment for these injuries usually involves analgesia such as paracetamol or codeine, anti- inflammatories such as ibuprofen, rest, application of ice, elevation of the leg and if things persist pain relieving injections, physiotherapy and surgery.

It would be advisable to ensure that your footwear is of the correct fitting, roomy and supportive to help ease discomfort too.

A visit to the Podiatrist and/ or GP may give you a firm diagnosis from which a plan for appropriate treatment can be made.

Seeing a physiotherapist may be useful as exercises to help strengthen the tissues/muscles of the foot and ankle can be given to help aid recovery.

As previously mentioned we think it would be advisable to see your GP in order to gain an understanding as to what your injury is. Your GP may wish you to see a specialist, physiotherapist or podiatrist for further help.

If you are referred for further treatment and have a private medical insurance package seeing a specialist may be included in your health care plan but you would need that initial GP referral first.

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses  

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