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The Top 5 Treatments for Metatarsalgia

If you are experiencing pain in your feet, you may have metatarsalgia. This condition can be quite painful, but there are several treatments available that can help. In this article, we will discuss the top 5 treatments for metatarsalgia. We will also provide tips on how to reduce your risk of developing this condition. Let's get started!

What is Metatarsalgia?

Metatarsalgia is a condition that causes pain in the ball of your foot. The pain is often worse when you walk, run, or stand for long periods. It can also be worse when you wear high heels or tight shoes.


Metatarsalgia is common in women and people who have diabetes. It can also be caused by an injury to your foot or by arthritis. Several treatments can help relieve the pain of metatarsalgia.  The best treatment for you will depend on the cause of your pain.


Top 5 treatments for Metatarsalgia

There are several different treatments available for metatarsalgia, and the best course of action will vary depending on the individual case. However, some treatments are more commonly used than others, and they tend to be more effective. Here are the five most common treatments for metatarsalgia:


1. Rest and Ice

If you have metatarsalgia, rest and ice are two of the best things you can do for your foot. Put your feet up as much as possible, and apply ice to the affected area for 20 minutes at a time several times a day. This will help reduce inflammation and pain.


2. Orthotics

Orthotics are shoe inserts that can provide arch support and cushion. The extra support and cushioning help to redistribute weight away from the ball of your foot, which takes the pressure off of the metatarsals. Orthotics can be purchased over-the-counter or custom-made by a podiatrist.


If you have diabetes or another condition that causes poor blood flow to your feet, it’s important to see a podiatrist for custom orthotics. Over-the-counter orthotics may not give you the right fit, which could lead to further problems.


3. Medications

The most common medications used to treat metatarsalgia are over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers. ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB) and naproxen sodium (Aleve). If OTC medications do not relieve your pain, your doctor may prescribe stronger pain relievers such as celecoxib (Celebrex), diclofenac (Voltaren), or tramadol (Ultram).


In addition to pain relievers, your doctor may also prescribe a corticosteroid injection to reduce inflammation. The most common side effect of a corticosteroid injection is temporary pain relief.


4. Metatarsal pads

One of the most common treatments for metatarsalgia is the use of metatarsal pads. These are small pads that are placed under the ball of the foot, and they help to redistribute weight and relieve pressure on the metatarsals. Metatarsal pads can be purchased over-the-counter or custom-made by a podiatrist.


5. Surgery

The first treatment option is surgery. This is often considered a last resort, but it can be very effective. The type of surgery will depend on the severity of your metatarsalgia. The most common type of surgery is called a metatarsal osteotomy. This involves cutting the bone in your foot and realigning it to take pressure off of the painful area. This procedure can be done with either open or minimally invasive techniques. 


Another surgical option is called a joint fusion. This is usually only done when other treatments have failed and there are no other options available. Joint fusion involves permanently joining two bones together to make one solid bone mass. This takes the pressure off of the painful area and can help relieve pain effectively.


How to Reduce Your Risk of Developing Metatarsalgia

There are several things you can do to help reduce your risk of developing metatarsalgia. Some simple tips include:


  • Wearing shoes that fit well and provide good support.

Is especially important if you have high arches or flat feet. Avoid wearing high heels, or any shoes with narrow toe boxes.


  • Maintaining a healthy weight.

Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of metatarsalgia or relieve its symptoms if you already have the condition. Even losing a small amount of weight can make a difference. The goal is to achieve and maintain a healthy body mass index (BMI).


There are many ways to lose weight and keep it off. The most important thing is to find a plan that works for you and stick with it. Some people do best with a structured diet plan, while others find more success with simply making healthier choices each day. You may need to try a few different approaches before you find what works best for you.


  • Stretching your calves and Achilles tendon regularly.

The Achilles tendon is the large band of tissue that runs down the back of your leg and connects your calf muscles to your heel bone. If this tendon becomes tight, it can put extra pressure on the balls of your feet and cause metatarsalgia. Regular stretching can help keep the Achilles tendon flexible and relieve pain in the balls of your feet.


  • Wearing orthotic devices in your shoes if you have high arches or flat feet.

Walking is a great way to exercise the muscles in your feet and legs. It also helps to stretch out the ligaments and tendons in your feet. Walking barefoot on soft surfaces, such as grass or sand, can help to massage the bottom of your feet and reduce pain.


  • Avoid activities that put repetitive stress on your feet, such as long-distance running or court sports.

If you do participate in these activities, be sure to wear shoes that are designed for them and change your shoes frequently.   If you notice any pain or discomfort, take a break from the activity and rest your feet.

Remember, The 3 Arches of Your Feet Still Need Support!

Maybe you have already felt the first symptoms of balance disorders or you want to prevent them from appearing in the first place. Consider getting a foot orthotic device or simply take care of your feet. Start by washing them thoroughly with a gentle soap whenever you take a shower. Being a very complex support system, your feet are your first line of defense against balance-related issues, since their arches provide you with the stability you need in your daily life. It’s time to put your foot down and push back against balance issues. With both feet on the ground, dedicate yourself to keeping them comfortable and healthy. Give us a call and we will scan your feet to make you custom orthotic inserts.


The Shoe Doctor has specialized in providing custom orthotics for 20 years. The right orthotic insoles can greatly reduce foot, knee, and hip pain while increasing performance and comfort. Russell at The Shoe Doctor will help educate and assist you in finding the perfect solution for your particular situation. We will create a 3D map of your feet and make custom orthotics for your hiking boots, everyday shoes, and everything else in between. These orthotics, along with our expert advice, will get you using orthotics like a pro, and have you performing at the peak of your abilities in no time!  If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, give The Shoe Doctor a call to get the best custom orthotics in the area! We are here to assist you, schedule your free consultation here!