Metatarsal Stretching Exercises

Inflammation in the metatarsal area causes pain in the ball of the foot.
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The metatarsal bones connect your ankle to your toes and create what you think of as the ball of your foot. They assist with balance when you stand or walk. This area experiences pain and injury due to a variety of different reasons. Metatarsalgia is a condition that occurs when this area is inflamed due to injury or overuse. Athletes, especially runners, experience this due to the constant load and stress placed on the feet. Performing exercises that stretch the metatarsals keep them flexible and reduce the risk of injury.

Towel Stretch

    Step 1

    Sit on a chair with your legs stretched out in front of you.

    Step 2

    Wrap the towel around the ball of your left foot and hold one end in each hand.

    Step 3

    Pull the towel toward your body while keeping your leg straight. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds and relax. Repeat this three times with the left foot. Repeat with the right foot

Metatarsal Doming

    Step 1

    Place your left foot flat on the floor. Tighten your toes.

    Step 2

    Draw your arch up by pulling your toes back toward your heel. Make sure that you still see your toenails. Do not curl your toes under.

    Step 3

    Hold this for a count of six. Relax your foot for 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times with the left foot. Repeat with your right foot.

Standing Toe Raise

    Step 1

    Stand with your feet flat on the floor and toes pointed forward.

    Step 2

    Shift your weight back onto your heels and lift your toes up off the floor.

    Step 3

    Hold this for a count of five and then relax. Repeat for two sets of 15.


    • Poor-fitting shoes contribute to metartarsalgia. Make sure that you are wearing the correct shoes and that they are the correct fit.


    • As with any new exercise program, consult your physician before beginning. If you have an injury to your metatarsals, your physician will recommend additional rehabilitation exercises.

    Things You'll Need

    • Towel

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