Pain in the forefoot is often referred to as ‘metatarsalgia’ but this term is a general non-specific label which fails to identify the specific site and cause of the pain. Basically, pain in the forefoot can be due to a variety of causes from wearing tight constrictive footwear down to overuse from running or in some cases sharp pain from a stress fracture. Morton’s neuroma is a non- cancerous fibrous growth typically the 3rd and fourth toes. This condition commonly leads to a shooting radiating pain form the ball of the foot into the toes.
Morton’s neuroma in many cases will depend on the severity of symptoms. Insoles or metatarsal dome pads may help alleviate symptoms. In extreme cases steroid injection or surgery may be needed.
Other causes of forefoot pain include bursitis, sesamoiditis and small joint arthritis to name but a few conditions.