What are the causes of forefoot pain?
What are the most common types of forefoot pain?
How do I know if I have a serious forefoot condition?
What can Auckland Sports Podiatry do for me?
Fore foot pain, otherwise known as Metatarsalgia, is a common condition seen in sports podiatry clinics.

What are the causes of forefoot pain?

There are numerous causes of forefoot pain, including:
  • Increase in intensity of weight bearing – causing greater soft tissue and bone stress
  • Increase in 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
  • Fore foot mal alignment – creating excessive and prolonged stress on certain parts of the forefoot during gait
  • Build up of skin – resulting in a mass 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.
  • High uric acid levels – due to diet, lifestyle and genetics, possibly leading to gout.
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
  • 1st mpj pain due to excessive joint pressures from mal alignment or injury
  • Joint capsule tears – predominantly from injury and over extension or flexion

The good news is, many of these conditions can be treated effectively without surgery or dramatic change in lifestyle.
How do I know if I have a serious forefoot condition?

You can be fairly confident that you have a condition of concern if one or more of your forefoot joints become inflamed, painful, and stiff. Pain ahs lasted more than two weeks. Swelling may be 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 your shoes are fairly old or you have relatively poor foot and ankle strength. In full-blown metatarsalgia, the pain can be so intense that putting weight on the foot becomes nearly impossible.
It is no surprise that you should seek professional medical advice from a trained sports medicine podiatrist for immediate treatment for the problem, as continual aggravation will result in compensation and disruption to your normal foot mechanics.

What can Auckland Sports Podiatry do for me?

ASP can give you a thorough check and assessment regarding your forefoot pain. You’ll be biomechanically assessed (Biomechanical Examination)using video gait analysis in order to accurately diagnose the condition. A detailed report of the findings will be made and be sent off to all relevant parties (Doctor, Physio etc) including yourself.

Should your forefoot arch be collapsed, thereby applying undue stress on the various soft tissue structures, an orthotic device can be manufactured and the treatment process can get under way within no time.

For further information about orthotic therapy, click here