What is Metatarsalgia and how to treat it

What is Metatarsalgia and how to treat it

Are you tired of the sharp, shooting, and excruciating foot pain hampering your daily activities? In this fast-paced world, nobody likes to stay behind because of their health problems. So, let’s deal with your metatarsalgia and get you back on the trails!

girl stretching while sitting on the ground. Esker signage in the foreground.


Metatarsalgia is quite common among patients with foot problems and occurs when the ball of your foot becomes inflamed due to excessive pressure causing a sharp pain in your foot.  This condition affects the metatarsals of your foot (the bones connecting the ankle to the toes) as they support your body weight during running, walking, standing, etc.

Common symptoms of metatarsalgia include:

  • Feeling like you are walking on a pebble or marble
  • Sharp or shooting pain in the ball of your foot
  •  Tingling sensations or numbness in your toes


A number of causes can give birth to this piercing foot pain. Some of them are:

  • Poorly Fitted Shoes – Women who wear high heels are often subjected to metatarsalgia because heels transfers the weight to the front of your foot. Shoes with a narrow toe box can also lead to this condition.
  • High-Impact Activities – Individuals who participate in high-impact activities or sports are more prone to Metatarsalgia. Certain sports involving jumping and running increase the pressure on the forefoot.
  • Foot Deformity – A person wearing ill-fitted shoes might develop foot deformities like bunions (inflamed bumps on the base of the big toe.) These deformities can lead to Metatarsalgia.
  • Fractures – Metatarsalgia can also occur because of stress fractures. The small tears or breaks in the metatarsals due to repetitive activities may cause these fractures.
  • Obesity – Most of the body weight is transferred to your forefoot while walking or running. Extra pounds means more pressure on your foot. 


Don’t worry - you don’t have to live in pain forever! Plantar Fascitis can be treated relatively simply by stretching, focusing on recovery and adding a supportive insole to your shoes.


stretching calves for metatarsalgia

Calf stretches – Stretching your calves can relieve ankle stiffness and prevent deformities like bunions. Lie down on your bed and wrap a towel around the ball of your foot and hold both of the towels ends in your hands. Roll your toes towards the shin until you feel a stretch at your calves.

stretching and massaging calves to improve circulation

Toe Pumps – This exercise can boost blood circulation and prevent stiffness. Sit down on a chair with your legs straight. Perform alternating movements by flexing and extending the toes until they feel loosening up.

toe scrunches with towel

Toe Scrunches – Strengthening the intrinsic foot muscles will help alleviate foot pain. Sit on a chair with a towel beneath the feet. Scrunch the towel with your toes only and ensure that the rest of the foot remains on the ground.  


Rest your feet after every physical activity, especially strenuous adventures like long hikes or trail runs. If foot pain persists, try low-impact activities like swimming and cycling, and avoid sports that impose much pressure on your foot.

Massage with an ice pack. Wrap the ice cubes in a towel and rub them over the affected area for 15-20 minutes. It reduces the swelling and pain that you experience while walking.


Worn-out or poorly fitting shoes can lead to foot deformities that can cause metatarsalgia. Properly fitting shoes is a great start, adding a supportive insole like the Esker Approach can add extra cushioning for shock absorption and to prevent pain and swelling. 

The Esker shape is designed specifically to provide integrated arch support through our integrated metatarsal pad. Our full run of sizes ensures that the heel cushion is aligned correctly to absorb shock.

Esker Insoles will fit in any closed-toe shoe with a removable insert. They are easily trimmable to find that perfect fit, and with our 30-Day Satisfaction Guarantee, you’ve got nothing to lose except foot pain. 


esker insoles to heal metatarsalgia


Our goal is to provide our customers with everything they would expect from a premium, supportive orthotic insole combined with the technical performance and comfort of wool.

 We're proud to provide support and comfort to athletes, professionals and weekend warriors. Here's what our customers are saying:

"I had plantar fasciitis years ago, and I could feel some discomfort in my right heel starting a couple of months ago, so I ordered these insoles to see if they would help. I've been using them for about a month, and the pain is pretty much gone." - Cyndi D.

"Great fit, comfort & warmth for my biking shoes and steel toe work boots. Biking (commuting) to and from work in all conditions in Vancouver, BC, these insoles have given me extra comfort and warmth here in the cold, damp North Shore Mountains. My feet and shoes don't smell as they don't sweat. I highly recommend such a quality product." - Andy M.

"I popped my Esker insoles in my Blundstone boots, and I never looked back! I wear them every day. They transformed my old worn-down boots into warm, comfy, all-weather (wet coast) friends. I love them and recommend them to everyone I can." - Andrea S. 


fitness foot health

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