Our feet are made up of ligaments and tendons in addition to bones and muscles. Because these parts bear our entire body weight all day, it’s no wonder that foot pain is rather frequent.
We occasionally experience soreness in the top of our feet, which can be uncomfortable when walking or simply standing motionless. Depending on the origin and extent of any potential injury, this pain can be minimal or severe.
What causes the top of foot pain?
Pain on the top of the foot can be caused by a variety of conditions, the most prevalent of which are overuse injuries from activities such as running, jumping, or kicking.
Overuse causes the following conditions:
- Extensor tendinitis is caused by overuse or wearing shoes that are too small. Inflammation and pain develop in the tendons that run along the top of the foot and pull the foot higher.
- Sinus tarsi syndrome is characterized by inflamed sinus tarsi or the duct situated between the heel and the ankle bone. The soreness on the top of the foot and outside the ankle is caused by this condition.
- Stress fractures in the feet: Pain can be caused by fractures in the metatarsal bones, which are positioned near the top of the feet. Swelling is most likely a symptom of this injury.
Other possible reasons for pain on the top of the foot include:
- Gout is a condition that causes severe pain at the base of the big toe.
- Bone spurs are painful growths that originate along your joints, particularly in the joints between your toes.
- Peripheral neuropathy is characterized by discomfort, prickling, or numbness in the feet and legs.
- The common peroneal nerve dysfunction is a sciatic nerve branch dysfunction that can cause tingling and pain at the top of the foot, as well as weakening of the foot or lower leg.
How is pain identified?
Make an appointment with your doctor if you experience persistent foot discomfort that lasts more than a week despite home treatment. Call your doctor if your pain is severe enough to prevent you from walking, or if you experience burning, numbness, or tingling in the afflicted foot. You can contact your primary care physician, who may recommend you to a podiatrist.
When you go to see your doctor, you’ll be asked about any other symptoms and potential ways your foot could have been hurt. They may inquire about your physical activity and any previous foot or ankle issues.
Your foot will then be examined by your doctor. They may press on various regions of your foot to determine where you are experiencing pain. They may also request that you walk and perform exercises such as rolling your foot to assess your range of motion.
To check for extensor tendonitis, your doctor will ask you to flex your foot downwards and then resist pulling your toes up. Extensor tendonitis is most likely the source of your discomfort.
If your doctor detects a broken bone, fracture, or bone spurs, an X-ray of the foot will be ordered.
Your doctor may also order the following tests:
- Blood testing can detect illnesses such as gout.
- an MRI to check for peroneal nerve injury.
How is pain managed?
Because our feet support our full body weight, a minor injury can worsen into a major one if left untreated. It is critical to seek treatment as soon as possible if you suspect an injury.
Treatment options vary according to the underlying cause of the disease and may include:
- Physical therapy can help address problems like peripheral neuropathy, extensor tendonitis, and peroneal nerve injury.
- for injuries such as broken bones or fractures, a cast or walking boot
- NSAIDs or other anti-inflammatory medications can help reduce inflammation, particularly gout inflammation
- treatment at home
In many circumstances, home treatment can alleviate foot discomfort. Rest and avoid using the injured foot as much as possible. You can apply ice to the affected area for no more than twenty minutes at a time. Wear supportive, well-fitting shoes that aren’t too tight when you have to walk.
The Bottom line:
The majority of causes of discomfort on the top of the foot are highly curable, but they must be addressed before the pain and injuries worsen. If you feel discomfort in the top of your foot, try to avoid walking for at least five days and apply ice to the affected area for no more than 20 minutes at a time. If home remedies do not seem to be working after five days, consult your doctor.