Discomfort under the ball of the foot is a very common condition and could be due to numerous conditions. Often the word, metatarsalgia is used with this problem but that name is really worthless as it is just like stating that you have a painful knee. The symptoms which gets placed under this term can vary from a basic corn of your skin underneath the front foot to a stress reaction of the metatarsal bone to a strained ligament to an joint disease type condition. Most of these conditions are completely different to each other and each of them must be handled in a different way and have different outcomes. Out of this it ought to be obvious why the word metatarsalgia isn't a very good term, just like stating the knee is painful.
The diagnosis of the different reasons behind discomfort within the ball of the foot could be a problem as a variety of the problems will often have identical signs and symptoms during the early phases. That's why an experienced clinician is usually needed to get the diagnosis correct and so the ideal treatment can be aimed at it as well as time and expense is just not wasted following the wrong diagnosis. Several issues like a plantar plate tear that is a prevalent source of pain in the ball of the feet have numerous clinical assessments which can be done to help determine if this is the condition. Others such as a stress fracture of the bone is likely to require an x-ray to get the diagnosis right. Arthritis like conditions are challenging to diagnose during the early stages therefore it may be a case of simply waiting to check out how the ailment progresses. Quite often the diagnosis of those type of problems can be a matter of ruling out the other conditions like a plantar plate tear or stress fracture with the clinical tests and imaging. For those who have discomfort under the ball of the foot, then you should find a competent podiatrist and get the diagnosis correct.