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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 [email protected] - 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 [email protected] 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 [email protected] 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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(items I prescribe in the office)

Orthotics for multiple types of foot pain
best buy in a pre-made orthotic
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I've been doing some aggressive research lately (it's how I found your incredible website) and realize now that my symptoms are not consistant with the diagnosis.


Hunterville, NC
….after reviewing your amazing site (great for the avg. jill). So thank you very much!!!


I am really, really impressed with your plain-speak explanations for the various conditions.


This was an extremely helpful site. I have an appointment on the 18th and your info. Was right on target…..


A well organized site containing much information written in a manner that the average reader can comprehend.


Ontario, Canada
I found your website and articles most interesting.


Thank you for a quick response. I think your site is the best information site on foot pain and I have viewed many.


(location unknown)
I came to your website, via www.foot-pain explained .com which I think is also your website? I thought explanations for different types of problems were well addressed and thoughtfully stated for the patient in mind.


New York
You have an amazing and extremely informative site. I enjoyed looking through all of the data and stats.


Memphis, TN
Thanks again so much for the information in the article. Very interesting.


Great article. I have had plantar fasciitis since I was in high school……..

J. Simmons

(location unknown)
Dear Dr. Mitnick, The orthotics arrived four days ago and I slipped them into my shoes immediately. I was skeptical as to the usefulness of the item, they really didn't look very exotic. I have to say though, after using them for just four days, I have experienced grand relief from my foot pain. Even the very first day, I was able to do a lot of work while on my feet with at least a 75% reduction of pain. It has only gotten better every day, and I go nowhere without my shoes with the orthotics. I had been experiencing extreme heel and sole pain for about six months and had to take extended breaks off my feet many times a day as well as regular doses of Ibuprofen. Since getting the orthotics, my life has returned to normal and I feel good again. Just wanted to say thanks for the recommendation for a very effective item, I had no idea what a change this item could affect.

Yours truly,

J.C. Forbes

Thanks for the Response, you hit it on the head.


Redondo Beach, CA
Thank you for your time and expertise in answering my question…..


(location unknown)
First, thanks for putting together this website. Its the most informative site I have found dealing with foot problems. Last June I started having pain and swelling at …….


(location unknown)
First of all, thank you for having all this useful information available in one place. I've been through most of your website and based on my research, pain and evaluations I think I've narrowed things down quite a bit.

Pete M.

(location unknown)
Thank you for the best site I have found when researching foot pain.

Glenda B.

Madison, Alabama
Thanks for replying so quickly. I was a bit concerned. I think your website is great, and chock full of info.....


Denison, TX
Dr. Marc, Thank you so much for your reply which seemed to be right on. I have researched many sites but you put me on the right path to the possible answer. My foot pain may not rule the rest of my life after all! I believe I'll make a sign that reads, "THE END IS NEAR!" Thanks Very Much,


West lafayette, IN
Dear doubt you get positive comments re your site...May I please be added to the list of your admirers. In all of my years of web surfing I would say your site is right there with the very best. Thank you for taking the time to write the terrific info you provide and for putting things into laymen terms for us mere mortals. I pray you have much on going success and thank you again for a deed well done. As for me I did not find much help for my symptoms and will continue on my quest. Were you anywhere in the South I would make and appointment...Thanks again dear sir...m.e.

Michael E.

Tampa, Florida 33624
Hi. This is a great site! I'm a healthy middle aged woman who is in good health, but.....


Just a wee word of thanks for your wonderful website...It is a terrific service...Thank you for providing your knowledge and help...With highest regards, m ebeling

Michael D. Ebeling

Tampa, Florida 33624

Thanks for a most interesting website, which has helped a lot.



Dear Dr.Mitnick

I usually do my research on the Mayo clinic website. I think your website is the most informative site I have found when researching foot pain.

I thank you for putting together this incredible website.


Dragica W.


....I have been told that it is not hard enough to be cut off. Please help, I am not sure what to do now! THANKS FOR A WONDERFUL AND VERY HELPFUL SITE!


South Africa

You have an unusually clear, informative and well-written website for laypersons. Thank you for that.

Matthew W.

Mansfield Ctr, CT

First, I'd like to thank you for all the information that you provide on your website and the opportunity to write to you.


Placentia, California

First, I want to let you know that you have the best web site I've found related to foot issues. (The only thing I had difficulty finding was the "ask a question" page.)


Unknown location

I received the orthotics Monday afternoon and began wearing them Tuesday. After two days I would say that I have noticed a huge improvement in the discomfort I have been experiencing. My foot feels better than it has in months.

Ric J.

Unknown location

I greatly admire someone like you who would donate and dedicate so much time and effort to helping strangers with no compensation. Truly, it is uncommonly kind. And your site is so intelligently arranged.

Ron R.

Pacific Grove, CA

I used to work for a podiatrist (front desk) back during summers in college years ago, so I know the benefits of good care. Again, I want to thank you for an EXCELLENT website. It was so great to get to your site (top of google search) and actually find all the answers I needed EASILY and QUICKLY! Clearly you put a ton of work into it and I really appreciate it.

All the best,


Alameda, California

By the way, millions of websites could use yours as a guideline on how to organize information and make the site user-friendly. Kudos to you!


Thank you for your very interesting and informative site!


Hi. I come to your site often looking for information. It is really informative and I appreciate it very much. I have RA and have been having considerable amount of foot pain...... Dee RN

Thanks very much for the wonderful informative site.


New Zealand

Thank You for my answer! I have been schedule for a bone density scan, allingment, and I am in the process of getting orthotics made, and checking out the natural remedies. Thank again! What a great web site!



Yes I want both pair of orthotics. You don't have an option of ordering 2 at one time so I had to place the order twice. Thanks. My husband likes these and wants to put them in all of his shoes. (referring to Superstep orthotics)

Cindy H.

I searched the internet everywhere for a clear description and illustration of my symptoms/problem. was where I ended my search with answers. If I lived in Jersey (left 30 years ago) and didn't live in Florida I would definetly make an appointment with Dr. Mitnick.

Thanks, Kathy

1st of all THANKS A LOT for your great site......


Thank you so much for your response. I will let you know how I am doing if you would like. Your website is awesome!


South Carolina
Hello! I want to thank you for such an informative website! I found you based on my ankle pain search and am happy to realize that there may be a relatively simple cause and solution....


unknown location

...Thanks for your fantastic service.


Arlington, VA

Thank you so very much, that would be much appreciated. I love those insoles, by the way. (referring to Superstep orthotics)

Kelly W.

San Clemente, CA

Dr Marc is fantastic...He seems to know exactly what you are feeling with the problems you are having. I wish he was in my home town so I could go to him with my problems!!!!!!!!!!!!!


location unknown

Great insights! Thanks Doc, you're the best.


location unknown

I have been experiencing foot pain of various sorts and am working to figure out what it is. I found this site and can only say BRAVO!! What an excellent site! The time it must have taken to put all this together must've been a daunting task! I am sure it has helped so many people. Thank you so very much for doing this.


location unknown

Dr. Mitnick, Thank you so much for your reply. I did let my physician know and they took an x-ray - all is well! Also, thank you for providing this wonderful site, it is very helpful with lots of useful information! I appreciate your gift of time! God bless.


Dr. Mitnick, Thank you, you were 100% correct. The pain finally brought me to the ER. I spent 8 days in the hospital. The Doppler you spoke of was able to show that there was no pulse in that foot. This was an arterial clot that split and traveled throughout my leg. My leg was almost amputated. I am in rough shape but have all my parts intact!! You certainly know what you are talking about. Thank you for taking the time to answer. Yours Truly!


Staying at home after hallux surgery I spend quite a lot of time seaching info useful for avoiding problems which might come back. Today I found your site and I am .... delighted it happened. It's one of the best site I found last days.



Thanks for taking time to read and answer so many questions. It is truly a public service!


Seattle, WA

I just wanted to say that I am very greatful for this website!!


location unknown

Also, and importantly, just want to praise this web site. Thorough and thoughtfully presented, it certainly must be of considerable assistance to anyone with a foot problem. Terrific -- and very interesting.I trust the address comes up easily for those seeking information.


New Jersey

Thanks so much for answering my question. You've been more help to me than my own Dr. has been lately. Thanks again....I hope to be able to walk without pain someday.


location unknown

Wow, that is exactly the information needed!!! thank you thank you thank you!!! I appreciate this help so very much from Marc Mitnick DPM. Excellent information and help to improve One's life.


location unknown

Thanks so much for this website Dr. Marc! It is so nice that you have this ask the doctor feature..I'm sure I'ts been helpful for alot of people. I will try what you suggested and see if it helps...thanks again!


Evansville, IA

Dear Marc

I just want to say thank you for the quick response and the good info. I find it amazing and a super nice thing that you do here by answering medical questions at no charge.

Russ W.

location unknown

Your website is full of a lot of helpful information, and I am very impressed with the time in which you responded to my post. Thank you again for your time and consideration in your response.


location unknown

Thank you very much for the information, I will consider it. Excellent web site.


San Diego, CA

Dr. Mitnick, Just want to say thank you so very much for your quick response and very informative reply! After reading what you had to say, I called the doctor's office and was able to get in and see him the same day as my injury. Toe was x-rayed and luckily, it is not broken or fractured. Very badly bruised and will probably lose the toe nail. And although my toe and toe nail are still very black and blue and very sore, they ARE both starting to feel a little better. So again, thank you! I am so very happy that I came across your website. The service you provide is outstanding and immeasurable!


Albany, NY

Thank you so much for all of your advice. In searching the web for people dealing with this same issue i can tell you that you are a Knight In shining Armor! If I lived in Jersey I would gladly be your Spokesperson. Hopefully next time you hear from me it will be good news. God Bless,

Jill S.

location unknown



Whichita, KS

thanks again, this site is very helpful.


Boston, MA

Like others have stated...This site is amazing and I am so thankful that it was created.

....Keep up what your doing. Your a life saver.



Thanks again for the information provided on your site. It's easy for non-medical folk to understand your writing, and helps provide better communication between patient and doctor.



Wonderful advice

by: Anonymous

This is the best site for foot problem info.

Thank you for this information. This description fits my pain and inflammation behind my 2nd toe perfectly.

by: Max

location unknown
Again, I really appreciate that you responded to my inquiry, and that your mention of Parkinson's helped me to find my way to a diagnosis of this difficult to diagnose disease. Most patients see on average 16 doctors before they are diagnosed. I hope that you can help other people that ask for your expertise in the future.

Barb D.

I just wanted to say that I am very greatful for this website!! I have had a fusion in my rt foot and am finally getting a little bit better......


location unknown
Again, Thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to answer my question....your an angel!


Thank you for your response. You have provided some great insight (to my question)....


location unknown
Thank-you so very much for responding so quickly and in such detail to my question!! I will give my surgeon a call today!! This website is terrific!!!! Thank-you again!


North Carolina
Many Thanks Dr Marc!
Thank you for your response. It sounds like a good plan to me. He did not cut the wart out first ...


location unknown

Thanks again doc for having this website and we STILL need qualified Podiatrists in beautiful sunny Tampa Bay (Bradenton) Florida.

Bessie Mae

Dear Dr. Mitnick, Thank you so very much for taking your time to answer my question. You have greatly relieved my anxiety related to the continual tingly I feel in my feet. I will share your response with my podiatrist next week. God bless you for having this question and answer page on your website! Most gratefully,

Lynne T.

location unknown
Your webpage is excellent, I commend you on sharing your knowledge to the public.


New Jersey

Thank you. you were more detailed than what others have told me they finally called from the last xrays and my son is now in a cast for 2 weeks he did have a fracture that was not noticeable.

a mom

location unknown

I have read your website and I have to admit that I am amazed at all the information that is on here. I have learned more than the three years I have been going to several doctors that I have seen!!


Lenoir, NC

Thank you so much Doc for a quick and thorough response!


Bellevue, WA

I cannot thank you enough for your response, opinion, and suggestions! I want you to know how much it means to me, and I'm sure everyone else who has ever asked you a question! I feel like you're a lifesaver and have empowered me to take a stronger role and stand up for myself and my feet!


location unknown

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