I am a 62-year-old woman with a steady daily workout pattern: spinning or cycling three days a week, Pilates and stretching one day a week and running one or two days a week. I have developed a large, uncomfortable callus behind the third toe of each foot. I try to control it with a pumice stone but recently when I ran it was almost like a rock or sock wrinkle in my shoe. New shoes have not helped.
-Lake Oswego, Ore.
If pain persists, see a podiatrist. You may have an extremely deep callus (a plantar keratoma) or a neuroma. Plantar keratomas require professional debridement as well as an X-ray evaluation of the underlying bones. A bone in the area may be dropped, abnormally long or enlarged, causing extra pressure.
A neuroma occurs when nerves are squeezed between soft tissue and metatarsal bones.
Inflammation, arthritis or even a stress fracture could be causing the pain. But regardless of the diagnosis, Oswell thinks that because you are so active, the pain is likely to be mechanically induced. Orthotics could help.