How to treat metatarsalgia

There are a lot of sports out there that are fun to do. A lot of people particularly like playing either basketball or football. Both sports require a lot of running and jumping and that can be a problem.

You see, if you tax your foot so much and you do not have the proper footwear, you might experience some problems with your feet. One such problem that may arise from too much stress on your foot is Metatarsalgia.

In this article, I will talk about some effective ways of treating Metatarsalgia without the need to go to the doctor. But before anything else, what exactly is Metatarsalgia?

What is Metatarsalgia

Metatarsalgia is basically the inflammation and pain that you may experience on the ball of your foot (the bone that connects to your toes).

As previously mentioned, some causes of this include too much stress on your feet from running or jumping. People who engage in high-impact sports that require long distance running and high-impact jumping are more susceptible and are at a much higher risk.

The pain is either a sharp pain or a lingering one, especially if you put pressure on the affected area.

Fortunately for you, there are things you can do to treat this foot condition and it is much easier than you think.

Here are some ways you can treat Metatarsalgia:

1. RICE Method

One of the most useful ways you can treat Metatarsalgia is by using the RICE method. This is just an acronym that stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation

  • Rest– The main premise of this is to not put too much pressure on the affected foot. You may want to get some crutches so as to not aggravate the condition. During the first day of the condition, it is best that you do not move a lot so that the inflammation will subside quicker.
  • Ice– Cooling the affected area will also help reduce the pain and the swelling. Get a piece of cloth or an ice bag and fill it up with ice. Place it on the affected area for no longer than 20 minutes at a time. Do this a couple of times a day, preferably three times. The key thing to note here is to not apply ice directly as it might aggravate the swelling. Also, do not put the ice bag/cloth for more than 20 minutes.
  • Compression– Put a bandage on the affected foot. Do not tie it too tight because it will cause pain and it might aggravate the condition. Furthermore, do not tie it so loosely, otherwise, the compression will not be effective. Just tie it tight enough and again, do not move your foot until the swelling is reduced.
  • Elevation– The key thing to note about elevation is that the foot should be raised high enough; higher than the level of the heart. This is so that there is minimal blood flow to the affected area and that it will speed up the reduction of the swelling.

What is metatarsalgia

2. Take anti-inflammatory Medications

Fortunately, you do not have to go to the doctor to get a prescription. There are over-the-counter medications for the swelling. You can get an ibuprofen to help minimize the swelling. Be sure to follow the package instructions so as to not get yourself overdosed.

3. Stretching

After the inflammation is reduced or has subsided, it is best that you stretch your foot. Stretch the Achilles Tendon so that your ankles can help with your balance. Slowly stretch the affected area, making sure that you do not put too much pressure on it.

4. Acquire a Metatarsal pad

One of the reasons why Metatarsalgia happens is that there is not much cushioning on the metatarsals. If you’re suffering from the condition, putting a metatarsal pad can help with recovery. Do note that you should only do this after a few days so that the inflammation has subsided.

5. Condition Your Feet by Swimming

One way to really help strengthen your entire feet is by swimming. If you’re into high-impact sports that require a lot of running or jumping, swimming from time to time will help rectify problems that may arise from too much stress on your feet.

General Tips

Metatarsalgia might be common for people who engage in high-impact sports, but thankfully, there are ways you can prevent it from happening. Here are some general tips:

  • Invest in proper footwear – One reason why you’re suffering from such foot condition is that you’re not wearing the proper shoes. Using the right footwear will help prevent Metatarsalgia from happening. The key here is to get a pair of shoes that have enough cushioning so as to support your entire feet.
  • Proper Stretching – Most people overlook this and it can be very bad for your feet. Practicing proper stretching techniques before and after exercise can exponentially reduce the risk of Metatarsalgia. When stretching, make sure that you’re stretching your entire feet; from your toes up to your Achilles Tendon.
  • Rest – I know that some people cannot resist playing roughly and consistently. But, the thing is that rest is an important thing we need to do in order for our bodies to recover. As I’ve mentioned before, too much stress on your feet will result in Metatarsalgia and this condition can be really painful. Be sure to rest at least once or twice a week.
  • Take care of your weight – One way to put too much pressure on your feet is if you’re overweight. Too much weight would require your feet to handle too much pressure and it makes you more prone to injuries and conditions such as Metatarsalgia. Ensure that you’re taking care of your weight.


Metatarsalgia is a preventable foot condition. It can be prevented by just following the necessary precautions and tips that I’ve highlighted in this article. Do not worry, if you’re suffering from this condition, the tips that I’ve said above will help you heal and recover more quickly.

Author Bio: Lisa Miller is the founder and editor in chief at, a foot health blog dedicated to providing trusted advice and information about foot health, foot wear and foot friendly lifestyle choices. Check out her blog to find more about Lisa and her work.