Forefoot pain is very common and it is estimated that around 80% of people will suffer from forefoot pain at some point in their life.
Females are more likely than males to suffer from forefoot pain mostly due to footwear choices.
Changing your footwear to wider shoes to accommodate the width and depth of your foot can improve symptoms. You should try to wear wide shoes with a low heel that fit you comfortably. Shoes with laces or an adjustable strap are best as they can be adjusted to the width of your foot.
Wearing high heeled, pointed or tight shoes will make your pain worse.
Being overweight can also contribute foot pain as can weakness or tightness in specific muscle groups.
It is important to think back to when the problem started and try to link it to a potential change in activity, or change in footwear to see if there is anything, you can do to ease the discomfort.
Symptoms can range from a burning sensation to a numbness, or it could just be that it is really painful to walk and occur over the areas indicated on the diagram with blue stars.
Strengthening the muscles in the forefoot (known as the intrinsic muscles) can help, as can stretching out the calf muscles, as this can reduce the pressure on the front of the foot when walking.
The videos below show exercises that may be useful in strengthening the muscle to help it cope better with the demand that you are placing on it.
Don’t expect things to improve overnight though. It takes time for muscles and joints to adapt and get stronger.
Please note: If you do not see any sign of improvement after 6-8 weeks of following the advice and exercises you may need to get referred to a Podiatrist for professional help and advice.
Patient information leaflet
You can download our patient information leaflet about forefoot pain for further information.