Forefoot Pain

Forefoot pain refers to discomfort or pain located in the front part of the foot, encompassing the area between the toes and the metatarsal bones. The forefoot is a complex region involving multiple joints, ligaments, tendons, and bones, and pain in this area can be caused by various factors. Understanding the possible causes and seeking appropriate evaluation and treatment are essential for addressing forefoot pain.

What are the causes of forefoot pain?

  • Metatarsalgia: Metatarsalgia is a condition characterised by pain and inflammation in the ball of the foot, particularly around the metatarsal heads. It is often associated with increased pressure on the forefoot, typically due to activities like running, jumping, or wearing improper footwear.
  • Morton’s Neuroma: Morton’s neuroma is a non-cancerous growth of nerve tissue, commonly occurring between the third and fourth toes. It can cause sharp, burning pain and may feel like a lump or thickening in the forefoot.
  • Bunions (Hallux Abducto Valgus): A bunion is a bony bump that forms at the base of the big toe, leading to misalignment and pain in the forefoot. It is often exacerbated by tight or ill-fitting shoes.
  • Hammer Toe: Hammer toe involves an abnormal bending of the toe joints, causing the toes to curl downward. This deformity can lead to pain and pressure in the forefoot.
  • Capsulitis: Capsulitis is the inflammation of the ligaments surrounding the joint at the base of the toes. It can result from overuse, improper footwear, or biomechanical issues, leading to forefoot pain.
  • Sesamoiditis: Sesamoiditis is inflammation of the sesamoid bones, small bones located under the big toe joint. It can cause pain in the forefoot, especially during activities that involve pushing off the toes.
  • Freiberg’s Infarction: Freiberg’s infarction is a condition where there is a loss of blood supply to the metatarsal head, leading to pain and potential joint damage in the forefoot.
  • Arthritis: Arthritis, whether osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, can affect the joints in the forefoot, leading to pain, stiffness, and inflammation.
  • Metatarsal Stress Fracture: Stress fractures in the metatarsal bones can cause localised pain in the forefoot, often aggravated by weight-bearing activities.

How do Podiatrists at My Podiatry Canberra evaluate and treat forefoot pain?

  • Clinical Assessment: Podiatrists conduct a thorough clinical assessment, including a physical examination and medical history review, to identify the underlying cause of forefoot pain.
  • Imaging Studies: X-rays, MRI, or ultrasound may be ordered to visualise the structures of the foot and assess the extent of damage or abnormalities.
  • Footwear Recommendations: Podiatrists often provide guidance on proper footwear to alleviate pressure on the forefoot and support its natural structure.
  • Orthotics: Custom orthotic inserts may be prescribed to address biomechanical issues, redistribute pressure, and provide support to the forefoot.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Medications: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be recommended to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain.
  • Metatarsal domes: Met domes are particularly beneficial for conditions where there is increased pressure on the metatarsal heads, such as metatarsalgia. By providing targeted support to the forefoot, metatarsal doming helps create a more favourable environment for healing and alleviating pain.
  • Corticosteroid Injections: In some cases, corticosteroid injections may be recommended to relieve inflammation and pain.
  • Exercises: Physical therapy exercises can help improve foot strength, flexibility, and address biomechanical issues contributing to forefoot pain.
  • Surgical Intervention: In severe cases or when conservative measures are ineffective, surgical options may be considered. This can include procedures to correct bunions, hammertoes, or address other structural issues.

Seeking prompt attention from a podiatrist is crucial for an accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment plan for forefoot pain. Book today for a biomechanical assessment at My Podiatrist Canberra to treat your forefoot pain Early intervention can prevent the progression of conditions and improve overall foot health and function.