Pain in ball of foot from bad shoes

by Laurie Krueger
(Worcester, MA)

I am a 42-year old female. About a week ago I wore a pair of flat shoes (I've worn them several times before without problem) and after taking them off the ball of my left foot was sore.

Although the shoes are my size they seem to be a bit short. It wasn't a huge problem and nothing I hadn't felt before. 4 days later I woke up to a throbbing pain in the same place. I couldn't apply any pressure to it and it was sore to the touch.

I couldn't wear normal shoes because of the swelling, so I wore flip flops to work. Within a few hours the pain had subsided, but was still swollen and painful.

I went to the doctor where they checked for gout and took an x-ray to see if there was a stress fracture. Both were negative. The next day the tendons on the outside of my left lower leg were sore. I assumed it was from the way I was walking to avoid stepping on the ball of my foot. The soreness is still in the ball of my foot, but tolerable.


1. Could this have been caused by the shoes?
2. What could this be and what should I do to help the pain?



Joshua Answers

Hi Laurie.


Yes, it could be from the shoes. If they were compressing you oddly as you were walking around, the structure(s) of your foot could have gotten ground on each other and irritated.

Probably this has happened before but your body was able to compensate for it, whereas this time you passed a threshold and the body throught there was a real problem so it kicked in a protective response that included a Process of Inflammation.

Then there is a boost to the Pain Causing Dynamic, your body moved different to avoid pain, which irritated other structures, etc.

So it's doubtful that you have Tendonitis or even Plantar Fasciitis, per se.

But much of those dynamics are now at play.

What do you do about that? Primarily, you get yourself out of the acute phase, through the sub-acute phase, and back to a normal ecology by Ice Dipping.

Intensively until the pain is gone, then taper off as you continue to walk and such.

Make sense?

More questions, more answers.

Please reply using the comment link below. Do not submit a new submission to answer/reply, it's too hard for me to find where it's supposed to go.

And, comments have a 3,000 character limit so you may have to comment twice.

Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

Subscribe to The Tendonitis Expert Newsletter Today!

For TIPS, TRICKS, and up-to-date Tendonitis information you need!




Don't worry -- your e-mail address is totally secure.

I promise to use it only to send you The Tendonitis Expert Newsletter.

Comments for Pain in ball of foot from bad shoes

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Sep 28, 2009
PART 2 - Thank you! - Pain in ball of foot from bad shoes
by: Laurie Krueger

Everything you wrote makes perfect sense!

I can't wait to get started on the ice massaging.


Joshua Comments:

Great! Keep me updated.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Ask The Tendonitis Expert .