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3284 Views 5 Replies Latest reply: Mar 25, 2011 10:43 AM by susieL70
KAB99 Rookie 4 posts since
May 24, 2010
Currently Being Moderated

Mar 10, 2011 2:26 PM

Foot Pain

Long time stalker first time poster. I usually get most of my question answered just by reading others posts. Now I have a question that I couldn't find an answer to so I thought I'd post.


I just started running last year. I graduated C25K in June and ran multiple 5K's, a couple of 10K's and some 4 & 5 milers between then and the end of the year. I am now training for my first half marathon in May. I did a 6 mile run on Sunday and at about 3 miles I started having this pain in the middle of the ball of my left foot. Tuesday and today I went for 4 mile runs and at around mile 3 the pain came back. It feels like a pebble in my shoe and it goes away soon after I stop running. Does anyone know what this could be or what is causing it?

Shoe history - I got fitted for shoes last May (Pearl Izumi's) and had really good luck with them, so when I started my half marathon training in January I just went out and bought another pair exactly like them.


Thank you!

Started C25K in April 2010 at the age of 39. Ran my first race in June 2010 (Outrun the Sun 5K - 38:08). I have run 10 5K's, 3 10K's, 3 Half Marathon's, and a number of "milers" since then.

2011 Mini Marathon - 2:38:49

2011 Greater Indianapolis Half Marathon - 2:32:24

2012 Mini Marathon - 2:28:53

2012 Women's Half Marathon - (in September)

2012 Hendrick's Co. Half Marathon - (in September)

  • chuntley Amateur 23 posts since
    Jun 22, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Mar 10, 2011 3:46 PM (in response to KAB99)
    Re: Foot Pain

    You could have a neuroma. That's where the bones on your feet pinch the nerves that run to your toes. Over time the nerve gets inflamed and feels like a pebble under the ball of your foot. A podiatrist would try squeezing your feet to see where you get the pain.


    There are other possibilities, of course, but neuromas are reasonably common. Try googling "Morton's neuroma" and see if the symptoms match.

  • JamesJohnsonLMT Legend 1,291 posts since
    Aug 23, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Mar 10, 2011 4:27 PM (in response to KAB99)
    Re: Foot Pain

    Racing a Half within the first year of your running career is not too   high a goal for most people. Unless you are running too many miles a   week, your body should be adapting to a modest amount of exercise, with   plenty of time to recover.


    My best guess without  further  information is that there is something about the way your foot  strikes  the running surface that results in more pain in that one spot.  It  could be an uneven running surface (ie: slanted road), the wrong  shoe,  too many miles, foot structure, hip structure or biomechanics.  There  are also medical conditions involving the ball of the foot.   Sesamoiditis is an inflammatory condition involving a tiny bone between   the first metatarsal head and the skin pad that defines the main "ball"   of your foot behind the big toe. Some people also develop necrosis of   the bone tissue in this area or degeneration of the fat pad between the   sesamoid bone and the skin.


    Al of these things can be   important to a diagnosis of your condition, but before it gets too far   along, you need to identify why the condition has developed. I assume it   was not an obvious problem until you were well into your exercise   program.


    At this point, it would be helpful to have  your  running form analyzed. Some gyms, running stores, and physical   therapists offer this service. It usually involves shooting a video from   a couple angles while you run on a treadmill. Some therapists offer   analysis of these vids by e-mail. There are also biometric sensors that   can be strapped to your legs and feet to produce critical data about   the motion of your foot that is then analyzed by computer. Either way,   it can provide important clues about excess motion, like pronation, that   can overstress the ball of your foot. Some of these traits can be  easily  assessed by eye in a running store, or even in a mirror if you  know  what to look for, but detailed step-by-step analysis is most  revealing.


    If you have excessively high arches, or walk in  shoes  with an elevated heel, the problems created can roll over into  your  running. Another condition that I often write about is Morton's  foot,  which involves a short first metatarsal. This is easy to identify  just  by looking at your foot in good lighting. If you scrunch the toes   downward it is easy to see if the "knuckle" of the big toe (over the   ball of the foot) comes up short related to the knuckles of the smaller   toes, which should all be in a straight line, regardless of toe length.  A  high percentage of people have this "short ball" foot structure -  including me, so don't be  surprised if you do too. If you do, it is  likely to cause problems for  running that many others on this forum  have had to deal with as  well.


    Remember that padding for  shoes can be a  double-edged sword. It might make you feel less pain in  the short term,  but cause excess-motion injuries later. Some shoes and  braces, that are  used to provide support and prevent excess motion, can  actually restrict  the natural motion of your foot, and increase the  chances of injury. Not all pads or devices are equal.


    To summarize, foot structure, running form, shoes, and   running surface are all very important if you want to run high mileage   races and train for them. If you need professional help, you can expect   to consult more than one specialist and spend out-of-pocket, unless you   have very good insurance. Might be a good idea not to mention that you  compete in sports if you want it paid for, lol. Exercise is widely  prescribed, but many in the medical profession draw the line at  competition. Meanwhile, you can get plenty of advice on everything I  have mentioned (and more) in this forum.


    The  most important thing to do at this point, in my opinion, is to hold  off  on your racing goals until the condition of your foot, and your  running  form, have been properly assessed. Better to take a little  break now  for a brighter future, than risk months of injury for a long  race that  could leave you limping for a long time.

  • susieL70 Rookie 1 posts since
    Mar 30, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Mar 25, 2011 10:43 AM (in response to JamesJohnsonLMT)
    Re: Foot Pain

    Thank you for the info about Morton's foot.  My spending 10 minutes reading these posts and checking the alignment of my toes, helped me more than the hours I have spent at Dr, podiatrists, and PT in years past!  I am 40 and have not run much in the past 1 1/2 yrs due to forefoot pain.  I started running in jr. high and have ran many fun runs of various lengths, completed 3 half marathons and 2 marathons.  A friend recently asked if I would do a 10 K trail fun run with her (begged actually), and I winced thinking of the pain  it may cause my foot.  As a good friend would, I registered for the run (now it is a commitment to myself and my friend!) and then looked at Med Tent on and found your post.  I knew I needed to be proactive and not let this pain keep me from running.  Thank you so much!  I will be trying out your suggestions and will follow up after my run.  -Returning Runner, hopefully pain free

  • chuntley Amateur 23 posts since
    Jun 22, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Mar 25, 2011 11:32 AM (in response to susieL70)
    Re: Foot Pain

    If you do have Morton's Toe, then you might find the following useful:

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