15 Natural Treatments for Metatarsalgia

ball of foot pain

This condition is causing pain at the ball of your foot. This pain can range from mild to severe. Many people develop metatarsalgia when they participate in activities which involve jumping and running. Shoes that are too tight or too loose and foot deformities could also lead to metatarsalgia. This is not a serious condition but it can sideline you. There are many home remedies which can give you a relief from the symptoms of metatarsalgia. Some of the most common symptoms of metatarsalgia are sharp or shooting pain; sharp, aching or burning pain; a feeling of having a pebble in your shoe; pain that worsens when you run, stand, flex your feet or walk and improves when you rest. If your pain last more than a few days, then you need to talk with your doctor as soon as possible. There are some cases when a single factor could lead to metatarsalgia but in most cases, several factors are involved in this condition, such as excess weight; foot deformities; certain foot shapes; intense training or activity; poorly fitting shoes; Morton’s neuroma and stress fractures. There are some factors which can increase your risk of metatarsalgia, such as you are obese or overweight; you have gout or rheumatoid arthritis; you have foot problems, such as calluses and hammertoe; you wear high heels or shoes which do not fit properly; you participate in sports which involve jumping and running. Talk with your doctor if you suffer from metatarsalgia before you start using some of the below mentioned home remedies for this condition. Here are some home remedies for metatarsalgia:

Identify the cause of Metatarsalgia

The first thing which you should do is to identify the cause of metatarsalgia. If the cause for metatarsalgia is incorrect footwear, then you need to stop wearing your shoes because your condition can get worse. You should try to wear comfortable and flat – heeled shoes. You should give your foot some rest because this can diminish the pain and reduce the discomfort. [1]

metatarsal pads


You should protect your foot from further injury by not stressing it. You should elevate your foot after walking or standing. Also you should avoid your favorite sport for a while but you can do low – impact exercises, such as cycling or swimming.

Properly fitted shoes

Some of the best options to eliminate metatarsalgia is to wear properly fitted shoes, such as properly fitted shoes with complete arch support, shock – absorbing insoles and metatarsal pads. Those shoes which fit properly align the feet and they prevent the stress on any pressure points. [1]

Essential oils  use in Metatarsalgia

Doctors are recommending essential oils in many cases for the usage of topical applications because they are acting as a counter – irritants to decrease the pain. You can use peppermint, camphor and eucalyptus essential oils if you suffer from metatarsalgia.

Strengthen your foot and ankle complex

It is known that the weakness in the foot and ankle muscles can lead to excessive strain on the tissues on the bottom of your foot, including the plantar fascia. Doctors are recommended doing the ankle/foot strengthening protocol. You should use elastic exercise band for this type of exercise. You should start with your feet in a neutral position. Also, you can use the elastic band as a way to stretch your foot up toward you. While you are in sitting position, you should use the elastic band attached to your foot and press your foot downward and upward. You should return to the starting position slowly and under control. You should perform two sets of ten to fifteen repetitions, one to two times per day on both feet. You can rest your foot on a chair or stool. In the second exercise you should also start with your foot in a neutral position. While you are seating, you need to use the elastic band that is attached to your foot and draw your foot upward. You should do 2 sets of ten to fifteen repetitions and to it once or twice a day. You should rest your foot on a stool or chair or with your heel resting on the ground. In the third exercise you should start with your foot in a neutral position. While you are seating, you should use the elastic band attached to your foot to draw your foot inward. You should perform 2 sets of ten to fifteen repetitions and do it one to times a day on both feet. Rest your foot on chair or stool or rest it with your heel resting on the ground. In the last exercise you should start as same in previous exercises, with a foot in neutral position. While you are seating, you should use the elastic band that is attached to the foot to draw out your foot outward to the side. You should do two sets with ten to fifteen repetitions per day on both feet. Take a rest on the chair or stool or with your heel resting on the floor.

Botanical medicine

Doctors are recommending the topical application of some herbs, such as borage, castor oil, chamomile, yarrow, comfrey and arnica because they can help to alleviate the pain and blood circulation. [2]

Work toward achieving a healthy weight

It is known that obesity is one of the most common causes for many different conditions and foot pain is also included. You need to talk with your doctor or nutritionist about a healthy way to reduce your weight.

Acupuncture help in Metatarsalgia

This is a very effective technique for managing most types of pains, especially it is effective for soft tissue pains. This treatment will involve the usage of local points on your foot as well as complimentary points which are more specific to your symptoms. [3]


It is recommended the usage of hot and cold applications because this can help to improve the circulation to the foot which can decrease the pain and aid in healing. This natural treatment can be done by alternating ice and heat packs or hot and cold water. [4]


It is known that some compressions can help you to decrease the bruising, pain and inflammation. The sport tapes can be enough but also there are other specially designed medical devices which can be helpful. The most important step after the injury has happened is the compression.

Wear socks

When you are wearing shoes, then you need to wear socks because this can help to reduce the friction. You should carefully remove any calluses.

Improve your balance

It is known that the poor balance is often associated with muscle weakness in the foot and ankle as well as weakness in the hip musculature and knee. The weakness and the balance deficits could lead to poor feet mechanics which can lead to metatarsalgia. When you improve your balance, then it can help you to reduce the risk of metatarsalgia and at the same time it is very important part of the rehabilitation process. Doctors are recommending starting with water noodle exercises and when your pail improves, then doctors are recommending to perform balance exercise without shoes on. You need to talk with your doctor about the best exercises which can help you to improve your balance.


You can massage the affected area to get a relief from swelling pressure. This natural treatment can reduce your pain and increase the local circulation. [5]

Apply ice

You should apply ice if there is acute swelling and redness in the ball of your foot. Ice will numb the pain and it will help to bring down the swelling. There are some cases when the pain becomes very intense, such as when you remove the high – heeled shoe. In these cases, it is very important to wear flat – heeled shoes or to walk barefoot because this can help to alleviate the pain to some extent.


You should use pillows to position your foot above the level of your heart to help reduce the swelling. Also, at this time you can apply ice.

Add a metatarsal pad

You can use metatarsal pads because they can give you a relief from the pain, particularly in the early phases of treatment. There are some people who do not have much padding over the metatarsal area and this is true as you are getting older. Also you should use shoes with adequate cushion around the ball of your foot because this will make all the difference. You need to talk with your doctor to find the right shoes for you.


In many cases, this condition happens as a change in the way the foot mechanically functions is changed. You should stretch your ankles and feet as well as your hips and legs because this can help to maintain the alignment in the body and it can prevent the disproportionate weight distribution. Also it can help to maintain the function of the body and it will prevent strain. [5]


[1] Buldt AK, Menz H. Incorrectly fitted footwear, foot pain and foot disorders: A systematic search and narrative review of the literature. Journal of Foot and Ankle Research. 2018;11(1).

[2] Cameron M, Chrubasik S. Topical herbal therapies for treating osteoarthritis. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.  2013;5:CD010538.

[3] Stellon AJ. Metatarsalgia: treatment by acupuncture. Acupuncture in Medicine. 1997;15(1):17-18.

[4] Antunes JM, Daher DV, Giaretta VMA, et al. Hydrotherapy and crenotherapy in the treatment of pain: integrative review. BrJP. 2019;2(2).

[5] Jeong HM, Shim JH, Suh HR. The passive stretching, massage, and muscle energy technique effects on range of motion, strength, and pressure pain threshold in musculoskeletal neck pain of young adults. Physical Therapy Rehabilitation Science. 2017;6:196-201.


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