There could be several reasons why you may be experiencing forefoot pain. Below are some of the most common that we treat.
Bunions, Clawing Toes or Hammer Toes
Bunions are a developmental alignment problem where the big toe moves towards the smaller toes, sometimes overlapping them. The first metatarsal (the bone behind the big toe) moves in the other direction. The joint can become prominent, poorly functioning, sometimes painful and difficult to fit in shoes.
While the majority of bunions are genetic in nature, other factors like tight or narrow shoes, injury, arthritis and poor alignment or function can contribute to bunion development.
Hallux Limitus – lack of movement in big toe
Hallux limitus refers to a lack of movement of the big toe joint. Arthritis and inflammation, ill-fitting shoes or a problem in foot position and alignment when walking or standing, can interfere and cause a reduced range of movement in the joint. Hallux limitus has a number of treatment options such as:
- Manual techniques to improve range of movement
- Insoles and orthoses to offload pressure and improve function
- Changes of footwear and strapping or taping for short term relief
Hallux limitus can also cause a number of other issues within the feet and legs as people change their gait to allow more movement where the joint is limited. This can transfer to the small foot bones and joints, up the leg to the knees, hips and lower back creating other problems areas.
Surprisingly common, stress fractures are typically associated with ongoing or increased repetitive activity with training, walking and running. Poor training methods, overuse, lack of suitable footwear and altered mechanical alignment can all contribute to an overload of the foot bones and cause an area of relative weakness to crack or break.
Management is necessary to prevent the stress fracture developing into a full bone break, and will vary for each individual depending on the location, severity, activity footwear, foot alignment and foot mechanics.
Plantar Plate Strain
The plantar plate refers to a ligament which connects the toes to the ball of the foot. As we age, constant flexing of the toes and weight bearing causes the plantar plate to deteriorate, become thin and potentially tear. This often causes pain under the ball of the foot near the toes. Sometimes with a plantar plate tear one of the toes will lift and sit higher than the other toes and occasionally the toe will overlap.
This can be a difficult problem to address in the long term but short-term relief with strapping, padding and pressure relief may reduce pain significantly.
Sharp shooting pain, aching, tingling or radiating pain from or in the ball of the foot, are all symptoms of neuromas. A neuroma is essentially a benign cyst on the nerve which runs between the bones of the ball of the foot. They’re most commonly located between the 3rd and 4th joints (called a Morton’s Neuroma) causing symptoms in this area of the ball of the foot.
Alleviating pressure and altering foot alignment and function with insoles, orthoses, paddings, mobilisation and footwear changes can reduce the pain of neuromas.
Why Choose Sanders Podiatry? Linden Park, Stirling or Mount Barker Clinics
Sanders Podiatry is dedicated to the complete care of your feet, making you comfortable, secure and stable on your feet throughout your life. We have a family friendly clinic and address foot concerns at any age and for any problem. We are a client-centred clinic with individualised treatment plans to treat your unique condition.
Our gentle and practical approach to your foot care is with your long term wellbeing in mind, we are here to help you as well as educate and inform you about your feet and their longevity.
We are widely connected to organisations and associations setting standards for excellent foot care around Australia, namely:
• The Australian Podiatry Council
• The Australian Podiatry Association
• Sports Medicine Australia
• The Australasian Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine
• Physitrack certified exercise prescription
• Arthritis Aware
Call us to book an appointment:
Sanders Podiatry in Linden Park – 08 8379 1456
Sanders Podiatry in Stirling – 08 8339 3344
Sanders Podiatry in Mount Barker – 08 8370 1590