We cannot be certain this program will cure metatarsalgia, unless the root cause is plantar fasciitis. Metatarsalgia is a common overuse injury. The term describes pain and inflammation in the ball of the foot. It is often thought of as a symptom of other conditions, rather than as a specific foot disorder.
To help pinpoint the source of your pain, your doctor will examine your foot while you stand and sit, likely ask about your lifestyle and activity level. You might need an X-ray to identify or rule out a stress fracture or other foot problems.
To help ease your metatarsalgia pain, try these tips:
- Rest. Protect your foot from further injury by not stressing it. Elevate your foot after standing or walking. You might need to avoid your favorite sport for a while, but you can stay fit with low-impact exercises, such as swimming or cycling.
- Ice the affected area. Apply ice packs to the affected area for about 20 minutes at a time several times a day. To protect your skin, wrap the ice packs in a thin towel.
- Take an over-the-counter pain reliever. Try ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), naproxen sodium (Aleve) or aspirin to reduce pain and inflammation.
- Wear proper shoes. Avoid too-tight or too-loose shoes and limit your wearing of high heels. Wear shoes appropriate to the sports you play.
- Use metatarsal pads. These off-the-shelf pads are placed in your shoes just ahead of the metatarsal bone to help deflect stress from the painful area.
- Consider arch supports. If insoles don't help, your doctor might recommend arch supports to minimize stress on the metatarsal bones and improve foot function. You can buy arch supports over-the-counter, or they can be custom fitted