How to Get Rid of Pain in the Ball of the Foot

Updated on February 28th, 2020
pain in ball of foot

The medical term for pain in the ball of the foot is metatarsalgia. It affects the metatarsal heads, the joint under the toes. It may surprise you, but the fact is our feet carry us through 8000-10000 steps every day, and over 100000 miles throughout a lifetime.

However, pain in the ball of the foot and toes occurs due to excessive exercising or wearing very tight shoes. Even certain foot shapes, for instance, high arches or curled up toes often lead to pain in the ball of the foot when walking. Swelling, redness, experiencing shooting pain, bruising and numbness are common symptoms of pain in the ball of the foot.

Your feet may be the most ticklish part of your body.

Natural Remedies to Treat Pain in Ball of Foot

CURE 1: Home Remedies

Be it a fungal infection, a tight shoe size, too much of exertion or any other apparent reason, the following herbal remedial measures can prove to be a boon for your ailing foot. Let us explore some home remedies for treating pain in the ball of the foot.

1. Hot and Cold Fermentation

feet Soaking in Water

Podiatrists claim that 90% of plantar fasciitis pain and heel pain can be treated without having to take drugs for them or undergoing surgery. One such very common and widely implemented natural home remedy is hot and cold fermentation.

Why Does It Work?

Soaking the foot alternatively in hot and cold water for every 5 minutes improves and boosts blood circulation by instantly dilating constricting the blood vessels, which helps in relieving pain in the ball of the foot to quite an extent.

How to Use and How Much to Use?

  • Fill half a tub with hot water and another tub with cold water.
  • Now, soak one foot in hot water and the other in cold water.
  • After five minutes, switch and change the feet to soak in alternate tubs.
  • Continue doing this for half an hour.
  • Repeat twice a day, once in the morning and once before going to bed.

2. Massage Sore Feet

Reflexology(1) is pivotal in relieving pain by massaging and pressing reflex points on the feet, hands and other parts of the body. It has been proven that massage works wondrously in soothing and managing pain in the ball of the foot.

Why Does It Work?

Massage eases foot pain as it relaxes the foot muscles by improving circulation, stimulating the muscles and reducing tension, all of which, in turn, help in alleviating ball of foot pain.

How to Use and How Much to Use?

Use a specially designed roller to massage the ball and soles of the foot. You can even use a tennis ball, rolling pin or a golf ball for 15-20 minutes, twice a day, to relieve foot pain.

[ Read: Massage for Plantar Fasciitis ]

3. Workout for the Feet

Research has proven that regularly exercising your feet makes them strong, alleviates soreness, and even improves flexibility and overall health.

Why Does It Work?

Exercises for the foot ensure that muscles continue to provide the best support, and thereby help improve the range of motion in the feet.

How to Use and How Much to Use?

This is the most recommended exercise for relieving pain in the ball of the foot. Wrap a thick rubber band around the foot covering all the toes on it. Now, spreading the toes, stretch them completely and hold it for five seconds. Repeat at least ten times to relieve pain in the ball of the foot. Practice this exercise every day once in the morning and once in the evening, without fail.

Another way of relieving foot ache is to scatter some pencils on the floor and try picking them up with the help of your toes. Repeat this at least twice daily.

Women face more foot problems than men.

CURE 2: Essential Oils

Essential oils have always been considered as great pain relievers when mixed with carrier oils and applied to the affected area. Research says that their anti-inflammatory and anaesthetic properties make them a perfect choice for easing off swelling and pain in the foot.

1. Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus Oil

Why Does It Work?

Eucalyptus oil has unique anti-inflammatory properties. This makes it an excellent pick for proving relief from soreness of feet and pain.

How to Use and How Much to Use?

3 to 4 drops of Eucalyptus oil should be mixed with 1 tablespoon of carrier oil like sweet almond, olive, sesame or coconut, and should be massaged on the foot for at least 15-20 minutes.

This can be used as and when required, but it is most effective when applied once in the morning.

[ Read: Essential Oils for Sore Muscles ]

2. Peppermint Oil

Why Does It Work?

Peppermint oil plays the dual role of a scrub for removing dirt and also as a pain reliever. It provides a numbing and cooling sensation to the feet and increases blood circulation to it, thereby eradicating pain.

How to Use and How Much to Use?

Take 10 drops of peppermint oil and add half a cup of any carrier oil like almond oil, and half a cup of brown sugar. Mix all ingredients and scrub the mixture for at least ten minutes on the sore ball of your foot. Rinse with warm water after that.

Do this once every day to get the desired results.

[ Read: Essential Oils for Foot Pain ]

Bones in the foot continue to mature until the age of 21.

3. Lavender

Lavender Oil benefits

Why Does It Work?

Lavender oil has calming effects and also carries anti-inflammatory properties which make it a perfect solution for a painful ball of the foot.

How to Use and How Much to Use?

Mix 1/4th cup Epsom salt to 1 teaspoon of carrier oil and four drops of lavender essential oil. Add this mixture to a basin of warm water and soak your feet in it until the water becomes cool. Pat your feet dry after this.

Repeat this practise at least alternate days to get relief from pain in the foot.

[ Read: Relieve Foot Pain Naturally ]


Putting an ice pack on the swollen area helps to reduce the pain if done for 20 minutes at an interval of every 2-3 hours. Low heels and soft sole shoes should be worn by people who experience plantar fasciitis pain(2) in the ball of the foot.

Also, it is advisable to put soft insoles or pads in the shoes to provide extra cushion while walking or exercising. Apart from these, keeping your weight under control and doing regular gentle stretching exercises ease the pain off and keep it under control to quite an extent.


1. Why does the ball of my foot hurt?

Ans: The ball of the foot hurts when there is an injury, inflammation, or abnormality in your metatarsal bones. Certain common factors responsible for it are bone abnormalities from genetic disposition, diseases like arthritis, or injuries.

2. What causes pain in the ball of my foot?

Ans: Indulging in too much running or walking, wearing shoes that are too tight, or even having a foot shape that puts pressure on the ball of the foot can cause acute pain.

3. How to relieve ball of foot pain?

Ans: Resting your foot whenever you can, wearing comfortable shoes, exercising regularly to relax the foot, using orthotic inserts, and managing body weight can relieve ball of foot pain.

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