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Foot Exercises

Metatarsalgia Exercises

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Posted 3 years ago


Last updated: 13/11/2023


by James McCormack

James McCormack
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What is Metatarsalgia?

The bones that make up the toes on your feet are called your metatarsals. An overload of your forefoot through poor biomechanics or inappropriate footwear can lead to Metatarsalgia. This can lead to a painful, sometimes burning sensation in the ball of your foot. There are numerous treatment methods for Metatarsalgia, including insoles, changes in footwear, metatarsal pads and Physical Therapy.

In this article, we will demonstrate the best Physical Therapy exercises for Metatarsalgia.

Metatarsalgia Exercises

Soleus Stretch

There are two significant muscles in your calf muscle group. The soleus is an important stabilizer of your ankle.

  • Standing upright, facing a wall.
  • Bend your knee while keeping your heel on the floor
  • Bring your knee as close to the wall as possible
  • Hold in this position for 45 seconds

Big toe Mobility

It is important to have a good range of motion in your big toe. A stiff big toe can lead to extra pressure being placed on the other 4 toes. This can contribute to metatarsalgia

  • Place your big toe up on top of a rolled towel
  • Bend your knee forward until you feel a stretch under your foot.
  • Hold in this position for 45 seconds

Spreading & Closing Toes

How to perform

  • Relax the feet on the floor in sitting
  • Spread the toes apart
  • Close the toes together

Gastrocnemius Stretch

Your Gastrocneumius is a major muscle in your calf muscle group. Metatarsalgia pain can stop people from pushing through their forefoot, leading to the tightness of the gastrocnemius muscle.

  • Standing upright, place one leg straight behind you and your other leg in front
  • Keep the heel of your hindfoot on the floor and lean forward against the wall
  • Once you feel a pull on the back of your left stay in this position
  • Hold in this position for 45 seconds

Big Toe Strengthening Exercise

Wrap a resistance band around the big toe in a seated position

  • Flex your big toe against the resistance of the band
  • Return to your starting position

Toe Crunches

  • In a seated position, place your foot on a towel or piece of paper
  • Contract the muscles in your feet to flex your toes
  • Relax, and return to your starting position

Heel Raises on Cushion

  • Stand on a cushion
  • Lift your heels off the floor
  • Slowly return to your starting position

Physiotherapy with James McCormack

This article is written by James McCormack, a Lower Limb Specialist who is an expert in treating Metatarsalgia.

This is not medical advice. We recommend a consultation with a medical professional such as James McCormack if you are experiencing any of the symptoms discussed in this article. James offers Online Physiotherapy Appointments weekly and face-to-face appointments in his London clinic.

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