Natural Remedies

Unbearable Ball of Foot Pain

Posted by christine (NY) on 06/17/2022

I have been complaining of what started in the ankle (something just not right) & now 4 years later is terrible "ball of the foot" pain ...becomes unbearable 15 minutes into rollerblading, fast walking or running. After sitting for a while foot gets very stiff, walking barefoot - no problem....dr sees nothing on xray, sent to PT just says to keep trying until ins runs do I know if I have mortons neuroma or metatarsalgia?

Replied by Deirdre

Hi Christine,

Sorry to hear about your terrible ball of foot pain.

Have you considered that it might be the result of a stress fracture (small crack in a bone)? Your symptoms are exactly what I experience for years now and I suspect I got a repetitive stress fracture on the ball of my foot during one of the hundreds of karate sessions I did in bare feet on the dojo hardwood floor. Perhaps something similar happened to you and you never realized it? These tiny stress fractures on the foot happen frequently, especially during exercise, and people often don't feel it at the time.

I get the same excruciating foot pain after 15 mins walking or running, and like you, no pain walking in bare feet, flat shoes or the right sneaker design (ie, no arch support in the middle of the sneaker). I think it's critical you always wear the right shoes and avoid putting any additional stress on the ball of your foot, which will exacerbate any injury.

You didn't ask, but what helps immensely is a shiatsu foot massager once in a while, especially before exercise. A much cheaper remedy that also helps is rolling your foot on a tennis ball before going out.

You could also start the borax/boron protocol and see if that helps. Here's the URL to the page on Earth Clinic:

Let us know how it works out and what remedies you try!

Replied by Mama to Many

Dear Christine,

One would have hoped that the doctor could have diagnosed metatarsalgia or morton's neuroma...but I, too had a less than satisfying visit with a podiatrist whom I went to see over ball of foot pain myself.

I agree with Deirdre about trying the borax protocol. That is one of the things that I have done for my pain, and I am doing so much better.

For me, it is metarsalgia and perhaps plantar fasciitis. The inserts the podiatrist recommended made the pain worse.

I ended up ordered many different shoes from orthofeet and skechers. I also sent many pair back. I finally have found a few pair of shoes that do seem to work for me. I do better with an arch support.

For a couple of months, I massaged arnica massage cream into the bottoms of my feet at bedtime.

I take turmeric and omega oils daily for inflammation.

And I am putting a pinch of borax into my morning coffee.

I hope you will figure this out and feel better soon!

~Mama to Many~

Replied by Cindy
Illinois, USA
403 posts

I would do a heavy epsom salt foot bath a few days in a row to see if it draws anything out or to the surface. I "expelled" several tiny pieces of glass from my hand, for years, from a glass incident when I was a kid. Hurts, first, then itches like crazy and a tiny bump appears. I scratch that off and there it is. Haven't had one in several years but the last one was when I was in my 40s. A half dozen, altogether. Epsom salt can draw out just about anything that isn't supposed to be there.

Replied by RB
Somewhere in Europe


In your post, the following sounds like a contradiction: Unbearable pain after 15 minutes of rollerblading, fast walking or running... but walking barefoot is not a problem?

How do you know, if you have Morton's neuroma, or metatarsalgia?

You have 3 choices.

A) You could get a diagnosis from a foot specialist, such as a podiatrist. Chances are, you won't get much from them. But, if your insurance pays for podiatrists, too, then why not?

B) You could self-diagnose, based on your symptoms and the definitions of these conditions. As you might already know, by definition, metatarsalgia is any painful foot condition affecting the metatarsal region of the foot. Further, by definition, Morton's neuroma is a benign neuroma of an intermetatarsal plantar nerve, most commonly of the second and third intermetatarsal spaces, which results in the entrapment of the affected nerve. The main symptoms are pain and or numbness, sometimes relieved by ceasing to wear footwear with tight toe boxes and high heels.

C) You could avoid all carbohydrates, including fruits, fructose, honey, candies, packaged sweets, sodas, juice drinks, fast foods, sauces, ice creams, ice pops, breakfast foods, fruit preserves, jams, breads, crackers, pancake syrup, dessert syrup, and applesauce. In my experience, "foot pain", "ball of foot pain", "metatarsalgia", "plantar fascitis", and "Morton's neuroma" are manifestations of the evil of carbohydrates.