Metatarsalgia, the scientific name for forefoot pain, is categorised as localised pain in the metatarsal heads (the areas just before the second, third and fourth toes), or in the area near the big toe. One of the hallmarks of this condition is pain in the ball of the foot during weight-bearing activities such as running, walking or standing.  Metatarsalgia is thought of as a symptom of other conditions, rather than as a specific disorder itself.


  • High level of activity
  • Ill-fitting footwear
  • High heeled shoes
  • Overweight
  • A high arch
  • Hammertoe deformity
  • Prominent metatarsal heads
  • Hypermobility of the joints
  • Tight Achilles tendon
  • Excessive pronation
  • Congenital deformities
  • Loss of fat pad
  • Previous foot surgery
  • Arthritis
  • Neuropathy
  • Circulation problems


  • Sharp or shooting pains in the ball of the foot or in the toes.
  • Pain in the toes and/or ball of the foot may intensify when the toes are flexed.
  • May feel like you are walking on a pebble.
  • Pain is often greatest when walking barefoot or on hard surfaces.
  • The region can be hot to touch and pain is worse during and after activity.
  • Most often, the pain comes on over a period of several months, rather than suddenly.


At Ned Buckley Podiatry, we provide the following treatments for Metatarsalgia:

  • Identifying the cause of your forefoot pain and advising how to remedy the condition.
  • Padding and strapping techniques to remove the pressures from the bones that are causing repetitive stress.
  • Footwear advice
  • Prescription of custom orthotics where appropriate