Pain in the Balls of Your Feet? It Could Be Your Plantar Plate | Triad Foot & Ankle Center

Pain in the Balls of Your Feet? It Could Be Your Plantar Plate

A long and strenuous day on your feet at work can cause the balls of your feet to crave an Epsom salt bath and a nice foot rub, but if they’re aching after a long day of Netflix binging on the couch, it’s time to seek the advice from the professionals.

Pain in the balls of your feet could be a symptom of a tear in the plantar plate. The plantar plate serves as a stabilizing structure for your foot, which means it bears the burden of long days of standing, distance runs, and everything in between.

Okay, so what’s the plantar plate made of? The short answer is collagen. Think of your plantar plate as the glue under your foot that keeps your toes and joints in line. The plantar plate has band-like structures that keep ligaments together, and in turn, those ligaments keep the bones in your toes from becoming crooked.

How does it tear? Tears in the plantar plate can be caused by everything from bunions and shoe choices to sudden trauma. Things like bunions or other deformities in the foot can put pressure on your foot, causing it to tear over time. The same goes for wearing high heels frequently.

Sometimes a tear happens over time, but sometimes it’s sudden and more traumatic. For example, if you’re ever exercising and feel a sudden pain in the ball of your foot, don’t keep going. According to the podiatrists at Triad Foot and Ankle Center, sudden pain in the ball of your foot could be the cause of a traumatic plantar plate tear and requires immediate medical action.

What’s the treatment for a plantar plate tear? The professionals at Triad Foot and Ankle Center recommend seeking treatment from a skilled physician as soon as possible. Because plantar plate tears can be misdiagnosed as simply soreness in the balls of your feet or a pinched nerve, it’s important to head to the podiatrist when you begin to feel pain.

Typically, podiatrists will perform X-Rays to determine the cause. If it is a tear, a podiatrist will use a splint or strategic toe placement to keep it stable.

Most plantar plate tears don’t require surgery if patients seek treatment in a timely manner, but if a tear goes undiagnosed, surgery might be necessary.

To schedule an appointment with one of the podiatrists at Triad Foot & Ankle Center, please click here to request an appointment or call 336-375-6990.

Disclaimer: The information and other content provided in our blogs, videos, or in any other content or linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. For a full disclaimer, please click here.