Edited by Vinod Panchbhavi, MD
Metatarsal pads are placed on a shoe insert in such a way (Figure 1) that they offload the painful prominent area under the ball of the forefoot that has been subject to excessive pressure, leading to symptoms (Metatarsalgia). If placed correctly, these pads have the potential to offer significant relief of symptoms by substantially decreasing the load (and therefore repetitive injury) to the forefoot.
Figure 1: Increased pressure over the second metatarsal head
Patients can fit their own metatarsal pads so that they can find the most comfortable location for their placement, (How to fit a metatarsal Pad!). They can be purchased online by searching “metatarsal pads,” or they can be found in a specialty shoe shop.
Edited May 16, 2019