Athlone’s Foot & Ankle clinic

Forefoot pain

Your forefoot pain may be the start of something more severe and potentially give you trouble for years to come if left untreated.

There are numerous causes of forefoot pain, including:

  • Increase in intensity or  duration of weight bearing – leading to fatigue and tissue stress
  • Change of  footwear– changing the dynamics of the foot, such as heels being responsible for shifting the centre of gravity forward with subsequent increase in fore foot loading and stress
  • Injury – due to sport, work or recreation
  • Forefoot mal-alignment – creating excessive and prolonged stress on certain parts of the forefoot during gait generally due to fallen arches and rearfoot mal-alignment.
  • Dermatological changes – resulting in a increase of tissue, often creating a localised inflammation and irritation, often leading to discomfort or chronic pain.
  • Increase in body weight – leading to an increase in overall stress to the forefoot.
  • Training/walking surface – harder surfaces equate to an increase in ground reaction force and therefore forefoot stress and risk of damage.

What are the most common types of forefoot pain?

These variables mentioned above may combine to form any one or a number of the following common conditions:

  • Morton’s neuroma – pinching of the nerves between the metatarsals.
  • Sesamoid injuries – damage to the small bones beneath your 1st metatarsal head.
  • Hallux valgus (Bunions) – deviation of the big toe, sometimes causing pain and loss of function and support.
  • Gout – build-up of uric acid in the form of crystals.
  • Corns and Callus – skin build-up and excessive pressure often leading to discomfort.
  • Verrucae – viral infection with subsequent build-up of a stubborn skin mass.
  • Metatarsal fractures – due to injury, mal-nourishment or over training
  • Joint damage to the metatarsal heads – predominantly from injury and over extension or flexion.

Fortunately at Costapa Podiatry we can treat these conditions effectively without surgery or a huge change in your lifestyle.

How do I know if I have a serious forefoot condition?

You can be confident that you have a condition of concern if one or more of your forefoot joints become inflamed, painful, and stiff. If this pain is presisting for a period of time greater than 48 hours then you should call Costapa Podiatry and book an appointment today.

If there is swelling present, and if you have metatarsalgia you will often experience a burning sensation in the joint area. Generally, swelling and pain may become progressively worse with continued activity, especially if you have poor footwear and relatively decreased foot and ankle strength.
It is no surprise that you should seek professional medical advice from a trained Podiatrist for immediate treatment for the problem, as continual aggravation will result in compensation and disruption to your normal foot mechanics.