Frequently Asked Questions About Metatarsals, Metatarsalgia, and Metatarsal Foot Pads
4 min read
June 3, 2021

Frequently Asked Questions About Metatarsals, Metatarsalgia, and Metatarsal Foot Pads

4 min read
June 3, 2021

Take a moment to look down and check your feet. Often, we do not give them much attention and pampering unless we experience some pain.

One of the most common conditions the feet suffer is metatarsal pains. As much as possible, you do not want to have this because it will affect your everyday life.

This article will discuss everything about the metatarsals, the painful conditions they may suffer, and the different ways to keep this part of the body healthy. You may have more questions about the metatarsals. We’ll answer them all in detail in this article.

What Are the Metatarsals?

The metatarsals connect the bones of the toes called the phalanges and the bones in the heel part called the tarsals. Connecting the metatarsals to the phalanges and the tarsals are joints and ligaments.

Can you guess where you’ll see the metatarsals? The feet have an arched part, and that is where the metatarsals are located.

You won’t forget the names of the metatarsal bones because they are easy to remember:

  • First metatarsal
  • Second metatarsal
  • Third metatarsal
  • Fourth metatarsal
  • Fifth metatarsal

The length descends from the second to the third, fourth, and fifth metatarsal. Despite being the shortest, the first metatarsal is the strongest among the five because of its thickness.

What Is Metatarsalgia?

Metatarsalgia is the pain of the forefoot, the upper part of the metatarsal close to the toes. Foot swelling and, in severe conditions, bulging of the muscles in the area characterize the condition.

The feet are prone to injuries because of the role they play in the human body. The metatarsals are particularly susceptible to injuries, and aside from metatarsalgia, they can suffer from other conditions.

  1. Stress Fractures: This injury, as the name itself suggests, is the effect of stress from strenuous foot activities such as playing sports like soccer, heavy foot exercises, or another health condition. The feet will be in pain even if the fracture is just the size of a hairline. This condition may be a minor condition, but it must still be addressed and treated accordingly.
  2. Traumatic Fractures: Traumatic fractures are worse than stress fractures. Under an X-ray, you will easily see this fracture because of its size and severity. Accidents and strenuous foot activities can cause this condition, and you need proper medical attention to correct it.

How Do You Prevent and Treat Metatarsal Pains?


  • If you want to stand out as an athlete, you need remarkable footwork. Many kinds of sports involve using the feet. Exercises that improve foot strength and flexibility can help you be free from injuries. Doing a proper warm-up is also an excellent practice.
  • Ensure that you have the proper foot protection and gear while doing foot sports and exercises. Wear the right shoes for your sports, as well as extra foot protectors such as padding or bandages.
  • Listen to your body. When performing strenuous exercises, if you see or feel signs that your feet need rest, take a break.
  • Give your feet some rest and pampering.


  • If you experience recurring metatarsal pain, seeking medical help from a podiatrist is the best solution. A foot doctor knows the proper test to run to make an accurate diagnosis. They are also the qualified individuals to recommend treatment and medication.
  • One solution that a podiatrist may give to you is creating a splint for minor injuries. However, for advanced metatarsal fractures, they may recommend surgery.

Postoperative treatment is also necessary. The doctor may require you to wear a boot walker or a specialized shoe for recovery.

best foot pads for metatarsalgia

What Products Can You Use for Metatarsal Pain Relief?

Medical Shoe Inserts

These shoe inserts are like the ones you buy to make a bigger shoe fit better. The difference is that medical shoe inserts have a special design that matches the anatomy of the feet. They provide support to the arch of the feet and the metatarsals as a whole.

Foot Sleeves

You’ll also see foot sleeves that you can conveniently slide to the feet to cover the metatarsal area near the toes. The cushion underneath lessens the pressure on the metatarsals during strenuous activities like jogging or long hours of walking.

Foot Arch Sleeves

While some sleeves are for the forefoot, some are specifically designed to provide a cushion to the arch of the feet. You need to wear the sleeves and position the arch properly before wearing your socks and shoes. These types of sleeves can also address other foot problems aside from metatarsal discomfort.

Foot Pads

Footpads have varieties. Some pads are made of gel or wool, which you will stick under your feet for metatarsal support. Some foot pads are also washable and reusable. You need to slip the ring of the pad to your toe and place the gel support under the metatarsals before wearing your footwear.

Foot Braces/Boots/Shoes

If you have just undergone an operation, your doctor will recommend specialized postoperative braces for your recovery. As your healing progresses, you can move to postoperative shoes that are more comfortable to use and look more like shoes than braces.

Are Metatarsal Foot Pads Effective?

Metatarsal foot pads are effective in preventing metatarsal pains. However, when it comes to treatment, you should still follow the doctor’s recommendation. The best footpads for metatarsalgia are what your doctor will recommend. If the doctor recommends foot pads, then, by all means, go for it.

Are you thinking about where to buy metatarsal foot pads? Do you wonder, “Where can I buy metatarsal foot pads?” These products are available in most pharmacies, but you can also purchase them on many e-commerce websites for convenience.

Foot pads effectively prevent metatarsal pains because you provide protection and support to your feet in situations when they can be hurt. As a treatment, they provide a cushion to sore areas. Footpads ensure that the condition will not worsen.

Prevention is still better than cure, as the adage goes, so even before you develop metatarsalgia and metatarsal problems, better use footpads early.

Final Thoughts

Metatarsal pains are highly preventable if you take care of your feet. Know which products you can use to protect your feet from pressure that causes fractures and injuries. If you still develop metatarsalgia and other metatarsal conditions, you can look back at the products mentioned above to give you relief.

There is a surplus of products to protect and treat metatarsalgia on top of the recommendations of doctors specializing in foot health. Use them to ensure that you are giving your feet the right cure.

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