Pain in the ball of the foot – Intermetatarsal Bursitis

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forefoot bursitis – pain in the ball of the foot

Bursitis is a common condition that can affect many parts of the body, including the feet. It can cause pain and swelling in the affected area that can make it difficult to perform day to day activities. Today I’d like to talk about bursitis within the feet, what causes it and how it can be treated. If any of these signs or symptoms relate to you, we advise you to book an appointment

What is a bursa?

A bursa is a small fluid-filled cushioning sac located near joints all around the body. Their aim is to reduce pressure, friction and rubbing between bones and soft tissue by creating a barrier between them. The bursae are very important to prevent friction, absorb shock, and decrease the wear and tear between moving structures.
A bursitis is the term used to describe an aggravated or inflamed bursa due to increased friction or pressure.

Bursitis in the foot

Bursitis can affect the foot in the ankle joint, between the heel bone and achilles tendon (retrocalcaneal bursitis), between the metatarsal bones (intermetatarsal bursitis) and between the big joints of the toes (metatarsophalangeal bursitis).
Common symptoms of bursitis in the foot include pain within the affected area when walking, standing or moving past the joint’s range of motion, swelling and decreased range of motion within the affected joint. Pain may be particularly worse with running or jumping activities.

Causes of bursitis

tight /narrow footwear that constricts the forefoot
Heeled or platform shoes that redistribute more pressure across the forefoot
Repetitive stress/overuse of a joint, particularly in athletes
Decreased range of motion in joints
Certain foot postures that place increased pressure on forefoot joints, such as high arched or low arched feet
Tight calf muscles leading to increased time spent on forefoot
Conditions such as rheumatoid or osteo arthritis and gout.
Aging
Individuals who suffer from bunions

Treatment of bursitis

There are a few things that you can try at home to assist with treating bursitis of the foot, such as:
Wearing appropriate footwear with adequate width and depth across the forefoot that avoids constricting the forefoot joints
Avoid lacing your footwear too tight
Avoid high heeled shoes or pointed shoes
Our podiatrists at TFC Podiatry are also highly skilled in establishing a treatment plan for this condition. Some treatment options from within the clinic include: Additional footwear advice
Deflective padding inside your shoes, such as a metatarsal dome
Dry needling of the affected area and adjacent muscles
Toe spreaders/separators
Custom foot orthoses
Local anaesthetic injections
Prescribing calf stretching and intrinsic foot strengthening
Referral for cortisone injections
If you feel you are suffering from bursitis within the foot then don’t hesitate to seek our expert advice at TFC Podiatry.

Your appointment at TFC Podiatry begins with listening to your story

We want to know how your foot or ankle concerns impact your life and learn about your goals.