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Chiropractic Care for Metatarsalgia

Published Date: 
December 20, 2023
Man holding his foot because of pain in the ball of his foot.

Metatarsalgia is the clinical name that describes pain in the front part of the foot. It can be caused by various issues, many of which are easy to correct. Chiropractic care is one of the most effective options for treating metatarsalgia.

Experiencing Pain in the Ball of Your Foot?

Pain in the ball of the foot is rarely a serious condition, but it can have a significant impact on everyday life. Like all types of foot pain, it interferes with your ability to walk and enjoy even the simplest tasks. Foot pain can be caused by:

Foot pain is relatively normal after an abnormal amount of walking or standing. It usually passes after a few hours of rest. However, if you experience pain regularly, your job depends on walking or standing, or you've noticed new bouts of pain arise without a direct link to a change in activities, it's a good idea to consult a medical professional. A chiropractor can help you evaluate the cause of your foot pain and find drug-free ways to treat the problem.

Causes and Symptoms of Metatarsalgia

Several issues can lead to metatarsalgia, including:

  • Inflammation or injury to the metatarsal bone
  • Poorly fitted shoes that put pressure on the front of the foot, including high heels
  • Certain foot shapes
  • High arches
  • Obesity
  • Arthritis
  • Gout
  • Osteoarthritis

Symptoms of metatarsalgia include:

  • Sharp, burning, or aching pain in the ball of the foot
  • Pain that increases with running, standing, flexing, or walking
  • Numbness, tingling, or shooting pain in the toes
  • Feeling as if you have a pebble in your shoe 
Young woman experiencing ball of foot pain during exercise.

How Chiropractic Care Can Help Alleviate Metatarsalgia Pain

Chiropractic adjustments focus on spinal health. For this reason, many people mistakenly assume adjustments are just for easing back and neck pain, but this isn't the case. Chiropractic care is actually an effective option for treating all types of foot pain, including metatarsalgia pain.

Chiropractic treatments take a two-fold approach to treating foot pain. First, treatment seeks to alleviate acute inflammation and pain. Once the immediate pain is milder, your chiropractor will work to correct the underlying issue causing the pain.

Massage therapy is one of the most effective treatments for breaking up scar tissue and increasing muscle flexibility in your foot. If you've been holding your foot in an unnatural position for any length of time to compensate for the imbalance and alleviate pain, massage can go a long way in restoring your range of motion and helping you restore foot health.

Additionally, your chiropractor will help you make lifestyle changes that reduce your risk of foot pain. If the problem is related to excess weight, they'll help you adjust your diet and fitness routines that can help you reach a healthier weight. They'll offer shoe and shoe insert recommendations that improve foot biomechanics and support good foot health. If necessary, they'll assist you in designing a custom insert made explicitly for your foot. They'll also provide guidance for at-home exercises to restore foot health.

Chiropractor massaging bottom of female patient's foot.

At Home Self Care to Manage Pain & Promote Healing

There are several things you can do at home, in coordination with working with a chiropractor, to manage ball of foot pain and promote healing. For example:

  • Ice and rest your foot when pain flares up or when you anticipate aggravation of the pain.
  • Wear comfortable, supportive shoes.
  • Try shoe inserts that relieve pressure on the ball of your foot.
  • Use foot pads to prevent rubbing.
  • Elevate the affected foot.
  • Keep your feet clean and dry.


Chiropractic care is a safe, all-natural, effective treatment for dealing with pain in the ball of the foot. It's a drug-free option for people who want to identify and correct the underlying cause of the problem. Not only do treatments alleviate acute pain, but they also fix what's wrong with your foot biomechanics, reducing the risk of developing future bouts of metatarsalgia and other foot pain problems.

Dr. Darren Faherty D.C.

In 2004, Dr. Darren Faherty graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree in Biology from UWEC - University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. Dr. Darren continued education at the highly esteemed University of Western States (formerly Western States Chiropractic College) where he obtained his chiropractic degree in 2007. He has been helping people recover from injuries and return to their normal lifestyles ever since.

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