Forefoot pain

The forefoot is more commonly known as the ball of foot. It is a common place to get pain, discomfort and loss of function. Many of the conditions which cause pain in this area can be easily treated by our expert Podiatrist. It is important to get your feet checked out. Book in an Initial biomechanical assessment.

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WHY AM I GETTING BALL OF FOOT PAIN?

Bunion

A bunion is a bump that forms on the joint at the base of your big toe. A bunion occurs when some of the bones in the front of your foot move out of place. Your big toe starts to point towards your smaller toes, and the joint on the side tends to stick out.

They generally occur from genetics, injuries or your foot’s posture and your body’ biomechanics. Factors such as high heels, tight footwear, and rheumatoid arthritis can increase your risk of developing bunions.

Bunions can cause pain, irritations, swelling, redness, corns/calluses, bursitis, hammertoes and Metatarsalgia.

It is important to get your feet checked out, especially if they are causing you pain. A Podiatrist can recommend appropriate footwear and custom tailored orthotics which can help slow down the progression of bunions. However, for severe and very painful bunions, surgery might be necessary.

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Tailor’s Bunion

Also known as a ‘bunionette’, this condition is a small bony bump that develops on the side of the base of th little toe.

Bunionettes commonly occur due to ill-fitting footwear. This can include narrow or tight shoes, pointy shoes, or high heels. This is because they force the little toe towards the rest of the other toes, leaving it permanently in this position over time.

Your feet’s biomechanics (the way your feet move) may also contribute to bunionettes. This occurs when there is more loading and pressure through the outside of the foot and through the fifth toe.

This condition can be painful on the side of the foot, may cause redness, irritation, swelling, callus/corns and difficulties wearing enclosed footwear.

It is best to get your feet checked out early to slow down the progression. This may include a full biomechanical assessment, footwear assessment, custom orthotics, and some stretching/exercises where necessary. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary.

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Bursitis

Bursitis is inflammation of the fluid-filled pads (bursae) that act as cushions at the joints.It often occurs at joints that perform frequent repetitive motion.

Biomechanics and foot posture has a large role to play in bursitis, especially with repetitive activity. Poor foot mechanics can generally be corrected with appropriate footwear and custom orthotics.

Get your feet checked out by our expert Podiatrist. If necessary, we can send for X-ray and/or Ultrasound on medicare, bulk-billed.

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Mortons Neuroma

A Morton’s neuroma is the thickening of the tissue around a nerve in between two toes, causing swelling, pain, burning, and tenderness. It is a painful condition which affects the ball of your foot, most commonly in the area between your third and fourth toe.

It can be caused by pressure or injury, such as from running or use of high heels. It can also be caused by poor foot mechanics and posture. It may feel like a pebble in a shoe or a fold in your sock.

Morton’s neuroma can be treated by change in footwear, custom orthotics, strengthening/stretching foot exercises, and in severe cases, steroid injection or surgery may be required. It is essential you treat this condition early, to ensure it does not become severe. Book an initial biomechanical assessment with our expert Podiatrist to get your foot checked out!

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Sesamoiditis

Sesamoiditis is inflammation of the  tendons attached to the two little sesamoid bones at the base of the big toe due to overuse, causing chronic pain.

It is usually caused by repetitive pressure placed on the ball of the foot, trauma, injury and poor foot mechanics and posture. This condition worsen gradually and can start as a mild ache, then  quickly increase to an intense throbbing. As the severity increases, it can become difficult to put any weight on the big toe or walk comfortably. There also may be swelling or redness around the big toe joint, and pain when trying to bend the toe upwards.

Sesamoiditis can be treated effectively with proper footwear and custom orthotics which are tailor made to treat this condition. It is essential to differenciate this condition from a fractured sesamoid or a bi/tri-partate sesamoid as treatment cant slightly differ. Our expert Podiatrist can do this by conducting a comprehensive initial biomechanical assessment.

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Plantar Plate Tear/Rupture

The plantar plate is a thick ligament that runs along the ball of our foot. Its role is to protect the ball of the foot and stop our toes from spreading too far apart. The plantar plate can tear, and even rupture when it is overloaded or strained.  This often occurs in the second toe as it is usually the longest toe and is exposed to most load when doing activity.

Risk factors for plantar plate tear include: having flat feet, bunionshammer toe, long second toe, and engaging in activities which put pressure on the ball of the foot, such as dancing, running and climbing stairs.

The first sign of a plantar pain tears can involve persistent pain under the ball of the foot that extends to the length of the toe. This pain can also be felt when bending the toe upward. Sometimes redness and swelling can also be present.

Diagnosing a plantar plate tear can often be difficult, which is why it is important to seek help from an experienced Podiatrist. Plantar plates can range from mild to complete rupture, and sometimes imaging is required to determine the severity. Once the severity is determined, our expert Podiatrist will be able to tailor a management plan which may involve taping, offloading, footwear recommendation, possible custom orthotics to prevent further injury and anti-inflammatories if necessary. In some cases, surgery may be required to repair the ruptured or severely torn plantar plate.

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Chilblains

Chilblains are bumps or sores that occur on the toes due to exposure to cold temperatures. This happens due to a malfunction of the small blood vessels in the toes which causes them to shrivel up and cause a painful inflammation as a response to cold temperature.

Women, being underweight and having Raynaud’s phenomenon can increase your risk of getting chilblains.

Chilblains can cause itching, bumps and red to violet-coloured patches on the hands or feet. The skin usually clears up on its own within one to three weeks, although it may recur for years.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for chilblains. However, having your feet assessed and seeking advice from our Podiatrist will help prevent and lower the risk of getting symptomatic Chilblains.

MORE INFO ON PAIN

All rights reserved to the Australian Podiatry Association (ApodA) – “The Australian Podiatry Association provides these fact sheets to help you learn more about your foot health and take better care of your feet! Please understand that they do not replace clinical advice, and we strongly advise you to see your podiatrist if you have any concerns.”

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Treatments available

Footwear

We explore and discuss what the most appropriate footwear for your foot type is. This can help relieve pain and improve your function.

Custom made orthotics

Prescription medical devices that you wear inside your shoes to correct foot issues such as problems with how you walk, stand, or run. They can also help with foot pain caused by medical conditions such as diabetes, plantar fasciitis, bursitis, and arthritis.

Shockwave

Shockwave is an effective treatment for pain and injury. The purpose of the therapy is to trigger the body’s own natural healing response. Many people report that their pain is reduced and mobility improved after the first treatment.

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