Ball of foot pain

So a few weeks ago (maybe 5?) I started to have a niggling pain/discomfort in the ball of my right foot, in line with my big toe. It's on the side of the ball that is nearest the heel, if that makes sense (rather than the discomfort being located towards the actual toe).

 I noticed that it felt tender when I pressed a certain spot, but it wasn't too much of a problem when running. I carried on running because I was training for the Abbey Dash, so after the race I took a couple of weeks off and rested it totally.

 I've been pretty sporadic with icing it and haven't taken ibuprofen so admittedly I haven't been the best. But I don't see any swelling so I don't know if it will help?

 I tried to run again recently and it's actually hurting to run on, especially when going uphill. The pain is localised - it's a certain spot on the ball that hurts to press. It can feel sore when walking but not so much that I can't put pressure on it.

 From Googling it I've found sesamoiditis and metatarslagia as two possibities (or a stress fracture?) but I'm not sure. I don't know whether to rest some more and hope it goes away, see the physio or see the doctor. I want to do the Chevin Chase next week and I've been looking forward to doing it, have a feeling this is going to have me walking round!

 Does anyone have advice or ideas on what it might be? Or what I should do about it?

The only thing that seems to have coincided with it is buying new trainers - Brooks Ghost. The thing is I love them, they're the best shoes I've ever run in (had some Glycerins before them for a few weeks but we had to divorce...just not right for me!). I don't want it to be the shoes. I know I tend to run more on my toes these days, because I'm running faster and in lighter shoes. Could this be a possible cause?

 Weirdly when I tried to run at the weekend (nine miles in the snow probably isn't advisable when you already have an injury) my OTHER big toe started to hurt, not in the same way. It's the actual toe, above the ball. It feels a little stiff and hurts most when I pull back on it.

Sorry for the long post. Any advice would be appreciated. I'm feeling so sad about not being able to run. I think I might try and see the physio this week if there is an appointment.




  • See a podiatrist.  As you say - it could be lots of things.
  • Managed to get in with my physio yesterday.

     She said she's treating it as soft tissue inflammation (i.e. the plantar fascia) for the moment. Rest, ice, massage.

     If that doesn't help she raised the possibility of a stress fracture.

    I have a feeling that's what it is. It's not getting any better, and it felt hot earlier despite icing it. There's a definite painful spot. I'm supposed to be doing the Chevin Chase in Sunday and now I'm wondering if it's a bad idea. And going through that horrible feeling where you realise you could be facing weeks off from running.

    I tend to let anxiety get the best of me in these situations and imagine that I'll never be able to run again. Think I just need to accept it and throw myself into cross-training and increasing strength.

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