What is a Metatarsal Pad?

Metatarsal pads are used to help reduce harmful pressures through the ball of the foot during walking.
Foot pressures during the walking cycle are high when the heel first makes ground contact and next when the ball of the foot contacts the ground. When the pressure in the ball of the foot exceeds a certain level pain can result. Metatarsalgia is the general term for pain through the ball of the foot. There are many different causes of metatarsalgia including thinning of the fatty tissue on the ball of the foot, a painful nerve condition termed neuroma, as well as inflammation of the joint tissue where the metatarsal meets the toe joints.
An orthotic is an in-shoe device that helps to reduce stress and motion through the foot and lower extremity that could be the cause of discomfort. Orthotics increase pressure in the arch helping to decrease the pressure at both the heel and the ball of the foot. A metatarsal pad is a modification that can be applied to an orthotic to help reduce harmful pressures in the ball of the foot. Although, different shapes and materials are used the correct placement of the metatarsal pad on the top of the orthotic can help relieve metatarsalgia symptoms