A metatarsal pad is often used in treating metatarsalgia, which refers to a painful foot condition that affects the metatarsal region of your feet. It offers more than adequate support in case you are experiencing such foot condition.
It should be noted that wearing conventional shoes particularly those with elevated heels, toe spring, and tapered toe boxes might cause foot deformities. Such can lead to extended toes. It might also trigger the forward displacement of the fat pad, which is often beneath the underfoot.
Since it supports your metatarsal bones, especially when they come in contact with the ground, the displacement of such pad can also lead to problems on your feet. It is possible for you to prevent such issues with the aid of a metatarsal pad. Learn more about the metatarsal pad, its benefits, and how to put it on with this article.
Metatarsal Pad and Its Benefits
Metatarsal pad refers to a small and usually squishy device, which you can use to bring back the balance of the tissues in your lower leg. It is beneficial in the sense that it can help in spreading the transverse arch, which refers to the arch found behind your foot’s ball and runs across your foot’s width.
With that ability, you can also expect the pad to bring back any overextended toes to their natural anatomical position. It is also a major help in bringing back the fat pad in your forefoot to an area, which supports your metatarsal bones and heads. It is, therefore, useful in realigning the fat pad and metatarsal heads properly.
Such can result in realigned and straightened toes, which is beneficial in correcting some problems affecting your feet. You can expect such results, especially if you use the metatarsal pad along with a toe-spacing product. The proper placement of the pad also aids in lengthening the tissue found on top of your foot.
Proper placement also works in off-loading the body weight you added to your foot’s ball while also ensuring that your toes are well-aligned. It aids in reconfiguring your foot in such a way that it is positioned based on what the nature intended. In other words, you can expect naturally splayed toes and splayed metatarsal heads.
It can also help ensure that the fat pad is naturally located beneath the fragile nerves and bones found at the ball of your foot. Properly placing the metatarsal pad in a fully flat shoe, which also comes with an adequately wide toe box is also the key to undoing any muscle imbalances affecting your feet.
It can restore the natural foot function and anatomy, making it possible for it to reverse and prevent a number of lower extremity and foot issues. If you are someone who has already worn conventional shoes, then you might need a metatarsal pad as it can also have a positive impact on your daily mobility.
Metatarsal pads are also beneficial in the sense that they can deal with tight extensors or calf muscles. If you experience foot pain problems, particularly in the ball of your feet, then you can also expect the pad to help.
It is mainly because of the pad’s ability to distribute your feet properly, thereby preventing the risk of adding too much pressure and stress on your feet. The pad also serves as an excellent temporary aid in case your toes, feet, and lower legs need some help learning a new position. It also offers a high level of support to your feet.
It should be noted that the metatarsal pad is mainly designed for a single application only. That means you are allowed to dispose of it after each use. Note, however, that the pad’s life is often dependent on the actual use, activity level, and how you take care of it.
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How to Place the Metatarsal Pad?
Now that you are fully aware of the benefits of the metatarsal pad, it is time to understand how to place it. Note that it needs to be in the right place to ensure that it works based on what you initially expected. The key here is to put the pad in such a way that it presses the space found behind your foot’s ball, not below it.
Note that putting it below the ball might cause discomfort and might only worsen your foot problem. Here are some steps on properly placing the metatarsal pad:
Use a shoe liner to serve as a gauge – You need a shoe liner as it serves as the gauge once you place the pad. What you have to do first is to pull the shoe liner from your shoe. Note that you may have a hard time putting the pad correctly without the liner.
If your shoe does not come with a liner or if the one in your shoe won’t come out, then it would be best to seek the help of a podiatrist when placing the metatarsal pad.
Locate the ball of your feet – It is important to spot the exact location of that part of your feet as this will also let you know where it will sit on your liner once you wear your shoe. You can actually easily spot the ball in a shoe, which you already wear for quite a while.
It is usually the worn areas in the liner as it is where the ball pressed too much. However, if your shoe is still new, then a wise tip is putting your foot on the shoe’s liner first. You can then spot the ball’s position by doing that.
Put on the metatarsal pad – The right spot where you should put the pad is behind the actual location where the ball comes in contact with the liner. Once you locate that position, put the pad on. Make sure that it is horizontally centered as it can help ensure that it is not too far from the outer and inner part of your foot.
Try on the shoe – Once you have placed the pad, you can put back the liner into your shoe. Ensure that the liner and pad seat properly together. Try on the best shoes for metatarsalgia (ball of foot pain). Once worn, you can feel the metatarsal pad pressing your foot’s sole – the one behind the ball. If you feel that, then you have done a great job in placing the pad.
Make some adjustments – Check whether your feet also feel sore when the pad is already placed. If there is indeed soreness, then it is highly recommended to let the pad stay there for a few more hours. Continue wearing the shoe and find out if your foot adapts to it.
However, if it does not happen, then it would be best to make the necessary adjustments. Pull up the pad then adjust its position. It should be in a position that won’t cause soreness on your foot.
A metatarsal pad can indeed offer numerous benefits provided you place it in the right spot. It does not only offer support but is also guaranteed to improve the function of your feet. It also helps in rehabilitating your feet and reducing pain in the area. Just make sure that you know how to place it correctly so you can indeed enjoy such benefits.