How is metatarsalgia treated?

Metatarsalgia is usually easily treated without surgery. Your doctor may recommend that you use a metatarsal pad, a surgical shoe, or a shoe insert to offload the painful part of your foot. Athletic shoes or rocker soled shoes may be recommended. Other helpful tips include:

  • Picking shoes with good soles, a wide toe box and a lower heel
  • Avoiding walking barefoot
  • Soaking and using pumice stone on your feet to help remove calluses. Removing these calluses can help relieve pressure. People with diabetes should consult their physician first before doing this.

If these measures do not help relieve your metatarsalgia, an injection or surgery may be necessary to resolve the underlying cause of your pain.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/02/2019.


  • American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society. Metatarsalgia (forefoot pain). Accessed 3/5/2019.
  • Espinosa N, Brodsky JW, Maceira E. Metatarsalgia. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2010 Aug;18(8):474-85.
  • Scranton PE Jr. Metatarsalgia: diagnosis and treatment. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1980 Jul;62(5):723-32.

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