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The response to the question below was authored by Marc Mitnick DPM

The Balls of my feet feel like they are bruised.....

by Patty


Ok, here we go..... I am 31, 5'8 and weigh 142. I am not pregnant, obese, nor do I have any health issues that I would be currently taking meds for or anything like that. I normally consider myself a healthy adult. I have one child, 5 years ol (tells you how long its been since I was pregnant lol)

I am a very active person (cabinet builder by trade, construction and floor installation to fill in the down times).

About a month ago I got out of bed and almost feel over, the balls of my feet hurt so badly to walk on them. They felt like they were bruised, upon inspection, they were not. Nor were they swollen. They looked normal. But hurt BEYOND BELIEF. I had to walk on them, I had work. Needless to say, it comes and goes. Almost instantaneously. I dont see anything that I do to cause either the onset or the diminish of it. As suddenly as it comes, its gone. Sometimes it lasts all day and sometimes on a few hours.

Things I have noticed: shoes on makes it feel better....USUALLY. Last week, I was bragging to my fiance that I felt great with shoes on (it was hurting while I was cooking, so I put on flip flops while I cooked).....I ate breakfast with him (french toast) and by the time sneakers came (about 30 minutes later) NOT EVEN THE SNEAKERS HELPED!!! I limped and tried not to put pressure on the right one as much as possible (the right one seems to be the worse of the two) for about 5 hours, until it finally STOPPED. Like there was absolutely no pain, whatsoever, in the first place.

Any information would be helpful. I will be going to the Drs. but I like to have somewhat of an idea of what is going on before I do that....I have searched the internet and cannot find anything....unless I am pregnant or obese. (which I am neither lol)

THANK YOU!!!!! (In advance for any help!)

Hi Patty,
Obviously is it impossible for me to make a diagnosis without actually examining you, but the two articles I suggest you read, on my site, are Morton's neuroma and capsulitis.
The fact that your feet feel better with shoes, at times, suggests either of those conditions as the source of your foot pain.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Aug 19, 2018

by: Dr. Mitnick

More thoughts on....

pain on the ball of the feet

One of the best ways to isolate why you are getting pain on the ball of the feet is whether or not it is occurring on one foot or both feet in a similar spot on the foot.

The first thing to do is actually check the ball of the foot to see if perhaps there is a foreign body such as a splinter or piece of glass. In most cases this would occur on only one foot.

Secondly, check to see if there is any type of callus "growing" on the bottom of the foot. This could occur on one or both feet.

If you happen to have a callus on both feet in the same location, then you need to start thinking about a structural issue with your feet. In most cases this means either one of your metatarsal bones is too long (relative to the others) or a metatarsal bone is plantarflexed metatarsal (positioned in a more downward position) relative to the other metatarsal bones. Either of these conditions can cause callus formation.

The positional changes associated with the metatarsals can also cause a condition known as metatarsalgia which can occur without callus formation.

If there is distinct pain behind the big toe joint, then one has to consider a sesamoiditis.

If the pain on the ball of the feet is in the metatarsal heads where the skin appears clear, but is very tender, then one has to consider a bursitis. In general, but not always, the affected area may be slightly swollen and slightly red in color.

Now, if the pain in the ball of the foot feels like it is slightly in front of the metatarsal head, then one has to consider a capsulitis, which is a stretching of the ligament that attaches the metatarsal head to the base of the toe.

Suppose you are getting pain in the ball of the foot that appears to travel into the toes, along with some burning or numbness, then you would have to consider a Morton's neuroma.

Lastly, if there is severe pain on the ball of usually just one foot, you should consider the possibility of a stress fracture, which can occur with no history of trauma.

May 09, 2016
Feet pain related to pressure hives
by: J

I have pain on the bottom of my feet. There is some plantars faciitis but this seems to be different, as it hurts after walking but not in the morning.I also have pressure hives and I think it is related.This pain appears after being on my feet for walks or standing. I wear very good shoes and support that my podiatrist approved.
Does any one else have pressure hives elsewhere on their body?

Mar 02, 2016
Thank you all, I'm not crazy after all
by: Ruby

I have been researching for a year and this is the first I am finding people with the same symptoms I have. So far I have tried infrared lights, magnetic shoe liners, orthopedic shoe liners, massage, and soaking my feet. I also see an orthobionomist - soft tissue manipulation to put the bones, muscles and tendons back in place. All of these have offered temporary relief. The best is ibuprofen right before bedtime. Otherwise I am up around two in the morning In extreme foot pain. In the am just the pads of my feet are swollen but once I am on them for a few hours they feel much better though they are "numb" half the time. As a dance teacher several nights a week, I too am looking for a permanent solution. Next stop will be a podiatrist. This all started when I jumped out the back of my truck. So I am assuming I have permanent damage but since a break in the dancing didn't show any improvement- I'm gonna keep dancing.

Dec 12, 2015
Bruised feeling underneath both feet.
by: Anonymous

I spent a few years standing ten hours at a time at a PC on a thin carpet in a dwelling without much carpeting and wearing inadequate footwear as I have a bunion in both feet causing me to be a half-size and can never find the right footwear to buy. I woke up one day with this condition. The whole of the underfeet not just the balls of the feet and the heels feel bruised even though the observer might not see anything wrong with the feet. It is most painful when in bed and if I get up in the night, the pains cause a lot of sleeplessness. Sometimes I think I have to pay for every step I take during the day when I go to bed. I have a warm bath every morning, I moisturize the feet with a Scholl cream but nothing really helps. I notice loads of people on this thread feeling as I do but the doctors are always talking about something else. I believe the cause of the problem is trauma to the nerves in the feet but what is the solution? What is the long-term prognosis and why won't the medical profession investigate the condition and give it a name? I have had the condition now for months with no sign of recovering.

Jun 09, 2015
Balls of feet feel bruised
by: Kim

Go to a reputable Chiropractor. They may be able to help. I have had this pain in the past and went to my Chiropractor. He fixed it. Haven't had the pain in a few years until now so I have an appointment set to go again. No expensive scans, and no needles! You would be surprised what the good ones can do.

Apr 01, 2015
Sore feet
by: SkiUSMC

Your feet are sore in the mornings because your muscles in your foot tighten and heal at night when you are resting. So, they feel tender until you get the blood flowing and stretch them. You mentioned you are active, but that does not always need to be the case. Place your foot flat on the deck and lean forward to the wall stretching your calf (and subsequently you tendons in the ball
Of your foot). Google to find new stretches. I am a career Marine at 40 years old. My body feels like it is falling apart a lot because you have to stretch like crazy as you get older. I hope this helps.

Jan 02, 2015
started this morning
by: Anonymous

im lying in my bed right now because I couldn't walk anymore im 14 years old and perfectly healthy and i don't know what this is an im honestly terrified because im a dancer and what if this never stops and I can't dance anymore but im happy i found this page because your symptoms and mine are the exact same and now i at least have some idea of where to look

Sep 22, 2014
Sounds Familiar
by: Anonymous

Mine started about six years ago with numbness. Over that period time is progressed to extremely sore and bruised feeling feet as well as pins and needles and burning sensation. I've been diagnosed with progressive idiopathic neuropathy. They don't know what causes it and there is no cure only a bunch of different ways to try and treat the symptoms to make you more comfortable.

Jun 15, 2014
response to peggy 8-24-12
by: always a bit of a rebel

"Sometimes the show makes a difference" What are you talking about ? ? ?

Jun 10, 2014
Balls of feet bruised
by: David (Desert Storm Vet)

I am a 44yo male with Gulf War Syndrome. I can't work so I have no insurance. My only medical is the VA medical centers, which are sworn to not fix any problems, they just "make you confortable", like hospice does.

I noticed all comments are from women, with the same problem. But, no guys have said the same thing.

I have mentioned the problem of my feet feeling bruised on the balls of my feet, front and back of foot. All doctors seemed baffled. I have no answers, only questions. Nobody has suggested cutting sugar or red meat. They don't suggest anything.

If anyone has any feedback please email me at - put foot pain in subject bar.


Apr 23, 2014
by: Anonymouse

Your best bet may be orthodics. You can try the inexpensive ones by Dr. Scholl's (or the like) first and see if they help. I can go a few days, if I'm lucky, without my expensive ones. But I always havd to go back to them. I, too, have the option of surgery but would rather walk with the orthodics at this point.

Jan 19, 2014
My whole foot
by: Pamela

Mine comes and goes through the day as to severity. Getting worse. More left foot. Worse after inactivity. I am massage therapist and stretching does not help.

Oct 09, 2013
Hurts on balls of feet
by: Anonymous

Check to see if your sugar is okay. I have this problem alsoj

Sep 27, 2013
by: Anonymous

Try eliminating all red meat and takes about 4 weeks but it worked for me!! I was living in pain for a year, it even went up in my joints and muscles. I went on a 6 week diet, no red meat included, and with in 4 weeks I felt so much better. Can't promise it will work for you, but it did for me. And I also changed my shoes to Asics...that has also helped!!!

Sep 27, 2013
cotton or bruised
by: Anonymous

The balls of the feet do feel bruised and I tried a lot of things to make it go away...none has worked. I wonder what exercises might help and what exercises might make it worse.
Going on 4 years and not a good thing to have.

Aug 24, 2012
bottoms of feet feel bruised
by: Peggy

I am having the exact same thing. It is like walking on gigantic bruises. Some days worse than others. Sometimes the show makes a difference, sometimes not. I just decided to see what I could find out about it on the internet. If anyone does find an answer write me at and put foot pain in the message name.


Apr 11, 2012
Finally an answer
by: Carrie

I have had this same thing for a year and they thought I had pinched nerves in my feet and did nothing but a steroid pack which worked for maybe 2weeks. I guess from what I can tell its just something I will have to get used to and live sucks

Oct 11, 2011
Ugh....Im soooo sorry! :o(
by: Patty

Hey Polly!
Wow, its been a LOOOONG time since I posted that! and believe it or not, I am STILL affected by it, exactly as described.

I can tell you I paid a foot specialist to tell me he believed it was Bilateral Mortons Neuroma....However, we wouldnt know EXACTLY unless I had a cat scan (I think.... whichever shows more than a simple xray, AND without insurance would cost me a MINIMUM of $1500)

He did try a steroid was like 21 pills over a 6 day period or something like that, and let me tell you .... I FELT GREAT!!!! Holy Cow, EVEEEERRRRYYYTTTHHHHIING felt great.... sadly it only lasted 9 days after I ran out of pills, and I was told its a REALLY strong steroid that lasts waaaaaay longer than that for mosts patients,(like MONTHS) but it wasnt something I couldnt take everyday forever, bc it would kill me ultimately.... BASICALLY. (used in cancer patients, and others, and all the precautions etc tell you to only take it if you are terminal...I read up online, when it worked soooo well!)

The ultimate decision was that test, and surgery. I dont think so. lol.

Not much help for you Im afraid.

I CAN tell you that sugar causes inflammation. I was a daily drinker of one of starbucks famous sugar filled drinks (looove it!) But, I have found that when I cut that out, the pain dimishes. Im not a soda drinker, but if you are, you may try eliminating that too. Oh, and beer!Chocolate and sugar! Also, the dr made a shoe insert/sole that had extra padding ONLY under the beginnning ball part of my foot, basically allowing not much flex.. like if you break a rib, you put a pillow over it and hold tight while coughing, to ease the pain.

I dont know if ANY of this will help you, my email is if you would like to email there, PLEASE FEEL FREE!

Best to you and yours!

Oct 10, 2011
bottom of my feet feel bruised when I wake up!
by: Polly

Wow Patty you just discribed what I was looking for! It has me so bafled! I thought it was from being on my feet too long but now it even happens when I'm off work for 2 day's!? My feet even feel Hot some times.

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