High Heels – some people love them, some people hate them.  Most women are like myself, wear them on occasions.  And some women will even admit that their feet hurt while they are wearing their heels. But what if it hurts after you take them off?  shutterstock_138367970
Pain at the ball of the foot, most commonly felt while wearing high heels, can be more of a problem then direct pressure from shoes.  Wearing heels, even occasionally, can cause tearing in one or more of the ligaments that are on the bottom of the joints located at the ball of the foot.  Pain at the ball of the foot is usually due to inflammation, scar tissue or a partial tear of this ligament.  The pain remains even when wearing flat shoes or without shoes because the damage has already occurred.

This ligament, known as the plantar plate, is responsible for keeping the toes straight.  When torn even partially, the ligament causes the toe to rotate or displace over time with or without pain.  Even without pain, there  can be swelling on the top of the foot in that region.   But its not just the pain, but the swelling and damage to the ligament that you need to worry about.  It is not uncommon to develop hammertoes because of a disruption of this ligament.  shutterstock_176514356

Treatment for this problem is dependent on when you seek treatment and how much damage there has been to the tissue.  Sometimes extensive physical therapy and taking the pressure off the ligament to allow the tissue to heal.  Often, using some of the newer forms of regenerative medicine can result in a quicker resolution.  Finally, surgery may be necessary as a last resort.

One thing to caution you on pain in this area.  NEVER have a cortisone injection unless you have ruled out damage to this ligament.  Cortisone, often used for inflammation in the area and/or neuromas in the area can weaken the ligament and cause further damage.