Pain in ball of foot

I'm awaiting my first appointment with a Rheumatologist, as my GP suspects I may be in the early stages of RA or something similar.

This morning, I was fine until I left the house to walk my dog and developed a pain in my left foot which made it really painful to walk, especially up hill or down hill. Since struggling back home I have pinned the source of the pain down to the ball of my foot, under the big toe, which is very painful to touch even lightly. The pain seems to start here, and is worse if I put any pressure on the ball of my foot or try and put my big toe to the ground. The pain is also up the inside of my foot and across the front of my ankle.

Could this be another RA symptom, or have I just sprained my foot without realising it??

Any advice would be greatly received. It is so easy at the moment to attribute every little ache and twinge to RA so I am desperately trying to keep a level head here.........although inside I am panicking that this is a sign of things to come!

7 Replies

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  • Me again! I have just noticed that when I stand on that foot, the big toe doesn't actually touch the ground, however much I try to get it to. This is weird, and very painful!

  • When my foot hurts, I am unable to put the foot to the ground and walk using the side of the foot. The pain is under the arc of the foot, ankle and heel, the rest of the foot appears to be solid block of ice although to the touch it's burning. My toes are constantly painful especially to the touch and towards the toe nail. I do have PsA and mine are classic signs, am not sure about RA.

    Hope you feel better soon and that the appointment for the hospital comes through shortly, in the meantime rest as much as possible as fatigue is part of the illness that we all suffer from. If you work and in an office, I found the best way to rest my foot was to place an A4 box of paper under my desk and rested the whole leg on that, plus I had a proper foot rest for other times. Take care. xx

  • Could well be the pesky RA, if that's what you get diagnosed with, as it likes munching on tender extremities like toes and fingers and those are often the first joints to show signs. And yes it hurts like crazy. Has your GP suggested you take anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen to tide you over 'till you see the consultant? And hot/cold packs also help, as do orthotic insoles in your shoes. But with treatment it can get miles better, as chances are that it's just inflammation at the moment, and not permanent joint damage, so will ease off when you get treated. I now regret that I didn't make more of a fuss to start with, as mine started with my feet, and didn't start nagging the doctor straight away but waited until all my other joints had joined in and I was near bedridden. But even so, one foot has recovered extremely well and rarely gives me problems, which is quite amazing since for a long while I could hardly put my foot down without yelping. So don't despair, but just keep a note of all your symptoms so you have it to hand when you see consultant. Polly

  • Yes it does sound as if it could be RA quite easily to me. Prior to diagnosis I had quite a lot of this in the ball of my right foot - it swelled right up and felt horrible whenever I put my weight on it but as Polly says - it didn't do lasting damage in the month or two that it was around for and I am a relative rarity to this site in that I now have hardly any pain ever in my feet. Pain that starts in the big toe could possibly also be gout though - it seems it almost always begins in the big toes - which is not the same as the ball of the foot but I guess you'll know soon enough. Take heart that once you're diagnosed and on treatment you will probably get your life back - maybe a bit differently and it may take a while - but back all the same. Tilda x

  • Polly has given you a great answer, and with that toe not lying flat and sticking up a bit, it would seem highly likely to be an inflammatory arthritis problem, so definitely something to remember to tell the rheumatologist. Hope you can get some relief from it soon though. Good shoes, ibuprofen, and either heat or ice may help in the meantime.

  • Yes I agree - and if it's visibly swollen and sticking up then it might be a good idea to photograph it and print this off to show the rheumatologist in case it's gone back to normal on the actual day. Tilda x

  • Hi , Yes I agree with Tilda Im afraid that what you have described was the very start of my RA ... I thought it was the boots I had just bought then realised after wearing my faithfuls that my foot still hurt as badly. A friend on this site also started the same, I really hope it isnt RA for you but had to be honest... am now on MTX , still early days but I am gonna bloomin well try those boots again this winter there we £80 from NEXT and only wore them twice. Good luck with your first appointment ... Claire x

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