Pain in the forefoot may be caused by several different conditions. The two most common causes of forefoot pain are Morton’s Neuroma and Metatarsalgia.
A neuroma is a thickening of nerve tissue that may develop in various parts of the body. The most common neuroma in the foot is a Morton’s neuroma, which occurs between the third and fourth toes. It is sometimes referred to as an intermetatarsal neuroma. Intermetatarsal describes its location in the ball of the foot between the metatarsal bones. Neuromas may also occur in other locations in the foot.
The thickening of the nerve that defines a neuroma is the result of compression and irritation of the nerve. This compression creates enlargement of the nerve, eventually leading to permanent nerve damage.
- Tingling, burning or numbness
- Forefoot pain
- A feeling that something is inside the ball of the foot
- A feeling that a sock is bunched up
The best time to seek treatment of this condition is early in the development of symptoms. Early diagnosis of a Morton’s neuroma greatly lessens the need for more invasive treatments and may help you avoid surgery.
Metatarsalgia refers to pain and inflammation in the ball of the foot. The pain of metatarsalgia can be caused by a number of conditions and can have varied treatments.
Who Gets Metatarsalgia?
- Runners and others who take part in high impact sports
- People with high arches
- People with a second toe longer than their big toe
- People with foot deformities such as hammertoes and bunions