There is a odd discomfort that can happen beneath the forefoot that is often described as a feeling that the sock is bunched up under the toes, but if you checked it it is not. The sense is frequently explained and is typically confusing. Most likely the feeling is caused by an issue with a ligament on the base of one or more of the metatarsophalangeal (toe) joints of the foot known as plantar plate dysfunction. Around each joint, there's a strong covering called the joint capsule. Regions of each joint capsule are thicker which are the ligaments which secure and stabilise the joints. Below the bottom of the metatarsophalangeal joints, that joint capsule is thicker to produce what is known as the plantar plate. It is possible to strain or perhaps get a minor split in that plantar plate, which in turn produces that sensation of a sock which feels as though its scrunched up under the toes.
The symptoms usually starts off slowly under the ball of the foot and might be preceded by that unusual bunched sock feeling. The most common manifestation of plantar plate dysfunction is discomfort on palpation of the vicinity of the plantar plate. A competent clinician will move the joint in a way to identify when the plantar plate is injured. A definitive diagnosis can be carried out having a diagnostic ultrasound, however it's quite clear to a skilled clinician on examination. Ordinarily the first treatment is strapping to hold the toe pointing downwards to relieve the pressure on the plantar plate. A metatarsal pad is also commonly used to reduce the load on the ligament. This often assists most cases of plantar plate dysfunction and get rid of that bizarre experience of a scrunched up sock below the ball of the foot. In the event that those conservative steps don't help, surgical repair of the partial or complete tear of the plantar plate is sometimes performed.