Forefoot pain

The most common source of ball of foot pain is metatarsalgia. Metatarsalgia is a broad term often used by health practitioners to describe pain and inflammation experienced in the forefoot.

You might develop it if you participate in activities that involve running and jumping. There are other causes as well, including foot deformities and shoes that are too tight or too loose.

Overloading of the metatarsals and their surrounding structures due to abnormal leg and foot function is commonly the chief cause of this pain in the foot. The problem can usually be managed by offloading the injured area and improving foot function through the use of soft full-length functional foot orthotics, good footwear choices and modification of weight-bearing activity that may be stressing the area.

Causes of Forefoot pain

  • Inflammation and thickening of the nerve (Morton’s Neuroma)
  • Bursitis
  • Stress fractures
  • Chronic ligament tears (plantar plate tears)
  • Reduced fatty padding
  • High arch feet
  • Flat feet
  • Nerve damage (neuropathy)
  • Hammertoes
  • Arthritis


  • Clinical examination
  • Biomechanical assessment to better understand why the pain developed
  • Vascular and neurological assessment
  • X-ray
  • Ultrasound Scan
  • MRI (rarely require)

Treatments are always tailored to the individual, they may include:

Left untreated, metatarsalgia might lead to pain in other parts of the same or opposite foot and pain elsewhere in the body, such as the lower back or hip, due to limping (altered gait) from foot pain. We provide non-surgical care with the goal of eliminating symptoms and decreasing the progression.

Book an appointment to find out how we can help you get back on your feet pain-free!

Mr James Ferrie
B. Pod. (La Trobe); Mem. A. Pod. A
Principal Practitioner / Founder of My Sports Podiatrist