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Hamilton clinic 01698 537 037

Glasgow clinic 0141 297 1965

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Forefoot pain


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For enquiries call 01698 537 037 or click here to contact us

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 Forefoot pain




(Hallux limitus or Rigidus)



Metatarsalgia is pain in the ball of the foot.It is usually felt in the sole of the foot and sometimes
feel like "walking on pebbles". Other people feel a more diffuse vague pain, ache or burning. Some people have trouble around only one or two toes, others have it throughout one or both feet.


Anything which puts extra stress on the front of the foot can cause metatarsalgia. Common examples are: 

  • Overweight
  • Inappropriate footwear 
  • High-arched "cavus" foot in which the bones in the front of the foot (metatarsals) point down into the sole to an excessive extent, or a long metatarsal bone which takes extra pressure
  • Claw or hammer toes which press the metatarsals down towards the ground
  • Stiff ankle which cannot be drawn up to right angles with the leg but points the foot down to the ground
  • A bunion or arthritis in the big toe can weaken the big toe and throw extra stress onto the ball of the foot. 
  • A stretched or irritated nerve in the ball of the foot (neuroma) or behind the ankle (tarsal tunnel syndrome) can produce pain in the ball of the foot. Diabetes can also produce irritation of the small nerves in
    the foot leading to a burning pain. 
  • Athletes or walkers occasionally get stress fractures of the metatarsal bones. 
  • Arthritis, gout or inflammation of the joints in the ball of the foot can produce local pain


Treatment of Metatarsalgia

  • Rest
  • Ice the affected area
  • Painkillers
  • Appropriate footwear
  • Silicon Shock-absorbing insoles
  • Metatarsal pads encorporated into appropriate insoles
  • Foot orthotics. Rigid or flexible as designed by your Orthotic specialist


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