What Is This Ball Underneath My Foot?



What is it?


If there is a painful ball of tissue forming underneath the ball of your feet, this is usually a neuroma.  It may feel like you are standing on a pebble in your shoe or on the fold of your sock.  This foot condition occurs as an inflamed nerve is irritated or “pinched” and a thickened callus forms around the nerve. 


There is most likely pain while walking and pressing on this ball as well as tingling and numbness.  This pinched nerve may arise from improper foot wear and repeated stresses to the area.  High-heels are often linked to the development of a neuroma and is one reason why the majority of people that have neuromas are women. 


A trauma can cause damage of the nerve resulting in the swelling.  Also, structural deformities such as high arch or flat feet can lead to instability around the toe joint resulting in a neuroma. 


When Should You Visit A Podiatrist 


As soon as you experience pain and discomfort, seek out a podiatrist.  Early treatment of this foot condition will prevent future severe pain.  




  1. Pain in the ball of the foot when weight is pressed on it. 
  2. Pain between the toes.
  3. Numbness and tingling in the ball of the foot.
  4. Swelling between the toes.


Home Treatment


Some things you can do at home include:


  1. Changing to comfortable shoes.  Relieving pressure and stress off of your neuroma will give it the space it needs to decrease in swelling and pain.
  2. Wear shoes with shock-absorbent soles.
  3. Avoid high heels.
  4. Rest and massage the area to alleviate neuroma pain.
  5. Ice to reduce swelling, dull pain, and improve one’s comfort level. 



Podiatry Treatment


A podiatrist can provide specialized treatment to decrease the pain and swelling of a neuroma.  For an undeveloped neuroma, comfortable shoes and prescription orthotics may be enough to help it heal on its own. 


A podiatrist may prescribe a special padding for the ball of the foot as well as medication such as anti-inflammatory drugs and/or a cortisone injection.  If the neuroma does go away after several months, surgery may be required.


Make An Appointment Today!


Dr. Michael Stegman and Dr. John Erotas have great chance of non-surgically treating your neuroma.  If you are experiencing pain, it is time to schedule a consultation. The American Foot and Ankle Specialists have locations in both Scottsdale and Sun City, AZ.  


Call 480-483-9000 and schedule your consultation today!  Same and next day appointments are often available.


By John Erotas