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10 Things to Try for Immediate Relief for Metatarsalgia

10 Things to Try for Immediate Relief for Metatarsalgia
Shweta Chaubey

Metatarsalgia is a medical condition that results in pain in the ball of the foot. It occurs due to issues with the metatarsal bones, connecting the toes to the ankles. For immediate pain relief from metatarsalgia, you can use home remedies and exercises. If you are also dealing with this condition and want something that can offer immediate relief for metatarsalgia, this article is for you. Here are 10 things you must try for metatarsalgia treatment at home.

10 Things to Try for Immediate Relief for Metatarsalgia

1. Rest 

Resting your feet is the first step towards managing metatarsalgia pain. Avoid engaging in physical activities and, instead, prop your feet up on a couch or a footrest. This will help relieve the pressure on your feet, allowing them to heal and preventing further injury. If you must continue with some activity, consider low-impact sports such as swimming that do not strain your feet.

2. Apply Cold Therapy

Cold therapy is a proven and sought-after pain relief method that also works wonders when it comes to metatarsalgia. It numbs the inflammation and pain and reduces swelling. Wrap a cold pack in a washcloth or towel, apply it over the ball of the foot, and leave it on for 20-minute intervals. However, make sure not to sleep with the ice pack on your skin. You can use cold therapy at any time of the day, preferably after exercising to manage pain or swelling that may surface.

3. Metatarsalgia Stretches

Metatarsalgia can benefit from gentle stretching and exercises to improve flexibility and strengthen key muscles. Before starting any new routines, it's crucial to consult your doctor or physical therapist to ensure you're not adding stress to your feet. Recovery stretches are essential and can be done at home without fancy equipment. Here are five easy stretches: 

  • Calf Stretch - Stand a short distance from a wall, place your hands on it, step one foot forward, keep the back heel on the floor, and hold for 30-60 seconds. Switch legs.
  • Achilles Tendon Stretch - Stand on a step, let your heels hang off the edge, lower them until you feel a stretch, hold for a few seconds, then lift your heels back up. Repeat.
  • Ankle Extension - Sit in a chair, cross the injured foot over your knee, and hold the ankle with the same side hand and toes with the opposite hand. Pull your toes toward you for 5-10 seconds.
  • Ankle Flex - Sit, place the injured foot over your knee, and hold the ankle with the opposite hand and toes with the same-side hand. Pull your toes toward you for 5-10 seconds.
  • Toe Towel Scrunches - Stand barefoot on a towel and scrunch it up with your toes without lifting the foot. Do three sets of 15 scrunches per foot.

When you're ready to get back on your feet (no pun intended), make sure to protect them with proper footwear. Choose shoes that provide cushioning to prevent excessive stress and avoid future injuries. 

4. Maintain Foot Hygiene

It is important to maintain healthy foot hygiene when treating metatarsalgia. Foot health is often overlooked, but it is crucial to take good care of your feet by managing calluses, moisturizing, and even gently massaging them. Foot problems such as hammertoes, bunions, and Morton's neuroma can all contribute to metatarsalgia, so it is important to address any underlying causes that may be causing foot pain.

5. Wear Supportive Footwear

Look for shoes that have a wide toe box to avoid pinching your foot. Your shoes should also provide good support and cushioning for the bottoms of your feet. Avoid wearing high heels as they put extra pressure on the balls of your feet.

6. Arch Supports

These can help alleviate the additional stress and strain on your feet while walking or exercising. Arch supports provide extra cushioning and comfort to your shoes. Some arch supports can also correct pronation issues. It is recommended to consult with your podiatrist or doctor to determine whether you require prescription orthotics or if over-the-counter ones will suffice.

7. Metatarsal Pads

Metatarsal support pads are designed to alleviate the pressure caused by painful calluses or pressure points. These pads are made of a gel material that not only cushions the foot but also distributes the pressure evenly across the entire metatarsal area. Some metatarsal pads come with a ring that goes around the second toe, while others have a pad. They are particularly helpful for those who feel discomfort while walking or standing for longer durations.

8. Shoe Inserts and Insoles


Shoe inserts are a great solution for those who suffer from various foot conditions. They can provide the necessary support and cushioning to alleviate pain and discomfort. Some of the foot conditions that can benefit from shoe inserts include plantar fasciitis, metatarsalgia, and Morton's Neuroma. By using shoe inserts, you can improve your foot health and overall comfort.

Insoles are designed to replace the liner of your shoe and are made of foam or gel material. They come in different sizes, lengths, and levels of support. The ideal insoles are the ones that cater to the specific needs of your feet based on the symptoms of metatarsalgia you are experiencing.

9. Kinesiology Taping

It is a type of medical tape that is flexible and used to protect joints and muscles. Kinesiology tape can remain on the skin for several days, even after getting wet. When used for metatarsalgia, it can improve body awareness (proprioception), increase blood and lymph circulation, and potentially prevent further injury.

10. Alternative Treatments

Sometimes, home treatments may not be sufficient to manage metatarsalgia pain. Here are other treatments that may work for your condition.

1. Medication

To alleviate the pain, you can also use an anti-inflammatory drug such as naproxen or ibuprofen. These medications are available over the counter and work by reducing the inflammatory process within the body. If you have any underlying condition, it is essential to consult with your doctor to avoid any unintended side effects.

2. Physical Therapy

It also helps manage conditions such as metatarsalgia. Physical therapy involves performing a series of exercises and metatarsalgia stretches to improve strength and flexibility.  

3. Surgery 

In cases of severe metatarsalgia, surgery may be necessary. If nothing else helps with your condition, you may require consulting an orthopedic surgeon. Your surgeon will likely order diagnostic tests such as X-rays to understand the situation better. During surgery, the surgeon will work to align the bones in your foot to improve how the foot handles weight-bearing activities.

4. Lifestyle Changes

To effectively manage metatarsalgia, it is important to make certain lifestyle changes that can improve your foot and overall health. This includes losing any excess body weight and avoiding any activity that puts excessive stress on your feet. It is also important to wear proper shoes and pay close attention to your foot health.

7 Causes of Metatarsalgia

A single factor can cause metatarsalgia, but more often, it is a combination of several factors. These may include:

1. Intense training or activity

Distance runners are at a higher risk of metatarsalgia because the front of the foot absorbs significant force when running. High-impact sports can cause metatarsalgia, especially if shoes need to be better fitting or worn out.

2. Certain foot shapes

A high arch and having a second toe that's longer than the big toe can put extra pressure on the metatarsals.

3. Foot deformities

Wearing shoes that are too small or high heels can cause your feet to be deformed. Bunions and hammertoes can also cause metatarsalgia.

4. Excess weight

Extra pounds mean more pressure on your metatarsals because most of your body weight transfers to your forefoot when you move.

5. Poorly fitting shoes

High heels transfer extra weight to the front of your foot and are a common cause of metatarsalgia in women. Shoes with a narrow toe box or athletic shoes that lack support and padding can also contribute to the problem.

6. Stress fractures

Small breaks in the metatarsals or toe bones can be painful and change the way you put weight on your foot.

7. Morton's neuroma 

This noncancerous growth of fibrous tissue around a nerve usually occurs between the third and fourth metatarsal heads. Morton’s neuroma causes similar symptoms as metatarsalgia and can also contribute to metatarsal stress.

When to seek medical help

The above-mentioned methods are considered effective for the immediate relief for metatarsalgia. If none of these methods work for your pain, or you have any underlying condition or are allergic to any specific thing listed above, it is best you consult with your doctor at the earliest.  

Where can you buy the best products for immediate relief for metatarsalgia?

HPFY has been online since 2002. We carry a wide range of pain relief products, including those used for immediate relief for metatarsalgia pain. Explore our catalog today to find all that you need.


Disclaimer: All content found on our website, including images, videos, infographics, and text were created solely for informational purposes. Our reviewed content should never be used for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Content shared on our websites is not meant to be used as a substitute for advice from a certified medical professional. Reliance on the information provided on our website as a basis for patient treatment is solely at your own risk. We urge all our customers to always consult a physician or a certified medical professional before trying or using a new medical product.


HPFY Shweta Chaubey

Shweta Chaubey

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Shweta Chaubey, has been a Health Products For You contributor since 2021. An advocate-turned-writer, her desire to create meaningful and positive content has brought her to HPFY and what better than writing ...

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