Arch and Ball of the Foot Conditions

Every part of your foot is necessary for normal movement. All of the structures work together to distribute your body weight and balance it so you stay upright. They also work in unison for you to be able to push off the ground whenever you take a step. Two of those all-important areas for pushing off the ground are the arch and the ball of the foot. When you have pain in the middle or front of your feet, these are the structures that are affected.

Painful Problems

Your arch, made up of your tarsals and metatarsals, bridges the area between your heel and the ball of the foot. The ball of the foot is formed where the metatarsals meet your toes. It creates the base area that you use to support your weight whenever you lift your heels off the ground, whether you’re walking, running, jumping, or just rising up on your toes. Conditions of these structures can make it very uncomfortable to walk. Some of the most common problems can be found below.


Your joints are held together by ligaments and tendons forming a sort of capsule around the ends of the bones that are coming together. Several of these exist in the ball of the foot. Under stress and pressure, a capsule can become painfully inflamed and swollen, making use of that joint uncomfortable.

Flat Feet (Overpronation)

When your foot’s natural arch is lower than normal, it’s called flat foot. Sometimes this causes the arch to roll inward, or overpronate. Over time this can stress the foot structures and lead to arch pain and increased pressure on other areas of the feet.



This is a common overuse injury. Excessive pressure on the balls of the feet over an extended period of time, or repeated hard impacts, cause the painful inflammation of one or more metatarsal heads. Typically the problem comes on gradually, over a period of several months. It can make pushing off the ground very uncomfortable.

Plantar Fibromas

This is a thick nodule that develops in the plantar fascia, which is the tendon that runs along the sole from the heel to the front of the foot. Repeated pressure on the sole pushes the lump against other soft tissues, which can hurt and irritate the problem. The condition does not get better without treatment.


You have two tiny bones under the ball of your foot, embedded in the tendon that attaches the first metatarsal to the big toe bone. These bones help your joint move smoothly and handle heavy pressure. However, with overuse and sudden increases of activity, the tendon around those bones becomes irritated. This makes it very uncomfortable to use the ball of the foot. Generally the problem only gets worse without treatment.

The good news is that most of these conditions can be treated very successfully using conservative measures. Dr. Sanjay Patel is an experienced specialist for evaluating and treating a wide variety of problems in the feet and ankles, including these. If you’re struggling with pain in the middle or front of your foot, don’t ignore the problem and allow it to get worse. Instead, contact Family Foot Care & Surgery, L.L.C. for an appointment or more information. Call either of our two offices—203-876-7736 for the Milford location, or 203-288-4055 for the Hamden office—or fill out our contact form to reach us.