Blog Forefoot pain (27th May) (1)

Walking on Clouds: A Guide to Common Painful Injuries in the Forefoot

Welcome to our comprehensive blog where we dive into the intricate world of foot health. Whether you’re an avid runner, a fashion enthusiast, or someone who simply appreciates comfortable shoes, this guide is for you.

In the following sections, we’ll discuss common forefoot pain conditions, and provide practical insights for maintaining happy, pain-free feet. So, lace up your favourite sneakers (or slip into those cozy slippers) and let’s embark on this journey together!

Forefoot pain is often referred to Metatarsalgia. Metatarsalgia is a generalised term and refers to pain and inflammation in the ball of the foot. This is not a specific injury so let’s unravel some more specific forefoot injuries below:

Morton’s Neuroma

Blog Foot Pain 1

Description: A compressive neuropathy affecting the interdigital nerve, commonly between the 3rd and 4th metatarsal heads.

Symptoms: Burning pain, worsened by narrow shoes. Numbness in the interdigital space.

Diagnostic: Side to side, compression test followed by a click (Mulder’s sign).

Treatment: Orthotics, wider shoes, and sometimes surgical intervention.

Bunion (Hallux Valgus)

Blog Foot Pain 2

Description: A painful bump and swelling at the base of the big toe.

Risk Factors: Positive family history and female gender. Wearing shoes with narrow toebox.

Treatment: Proper footwear, toe separators, orthotics, and surgical correction if severe.

Plantar Plate Tear

Blog Foot Pain 3

Description: Tears in the plantar plate of the lesser metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joints.

Symptoms: Pain, instability, and forefoot deformity. Feel like a pebble under toe/ball of feet.

Causes: Excessive pressure on the balls of feet. Running on balls of feet, dancing, history of high heels are common risk factors.

Treatment: Rocker & flatter shoes, rest, orthotics, and sometimes surgical intervention.

Intermetatarsal Bursitis

Blog Foot Pain 4

Description: Inflammation of the bursa between adjacent metatarsals.

Symptoms: Pain, swelling, and tenderness.

Treatment: Rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medications, and cushioning

Stress Fracture

Blog Foot Pain 5

Description: Tiny cracks in the bone due to repetitive stress.

Risk Factors: Intense training, marching (e.g., soldiers, police officers), and certain recreational activities.

Symptoms: Localized pain can be sore even during resting and worsened during activity.

Most common is 2nd and 3rd metatarsals (long bones) near the toes.

Treatment: Rest, western acupuncture, cushioning, avoiding high heels, and immobilization.


Description: Capsulitis is an inflammatory condition affecting the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joints in the forefoot. It specifically involves the thickened joint capsule.

Symptoms: Patients experience localized pain, swelling, and discomfort. The pain is sometimes worst pressing on top of the foot.

Diagnostic: Physical examination, including palpation and assessment of joint stability.

Treatment: Treatment options include rest, anti-inflammatory measures, orthotics, and sometimes corticosteroid injections.

Remember that early diagnosis and appropriate management are crucial for relieving forefoot pain. Consult a podiatrist for personalized advice and treatment options. Your feet deserve the best care!

If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you with forefoot pain, please feel free to contact us on 08 7120 6063 or Book Online through our website. We look forward to seeing you at Leading Edge Podiatry (formerly Complete Podiatry Blackwood)!!

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