What can cause pain on the top of your foot?

What can cause pain on the top of your foot?

Finding the cause of pain on the top of the foot can be a tricky problem to manage, as it has many causes and Dr Google isn’t always helpful in tracking down the solution. Here is a list of the 3 most common causes of pain on the top of the foot that I see in my clinic, and how to deal with them.


1. Shoes too tight

Believe it or not, this is one of the most common causes of foot pain I see, and of course the solution is simple! Loosen your laces if you have them or find a pair of shoes that is not so tight on the top of your foot.


2. Extensor tendinitis / tendinopathy

The tendons on the top of your foot that bend the foot and toes upwards, or dorsiflex the foot and toes, can become irritated or overloaded, especially if walking or running up hills where you have to lift your foot to clear the ground. If it is a minor irritation, say after a long walk or run, then a few days’ rest, applying heat packs to the area will probably settle it down. Avoiding hilly walks and runs while it is settling down, plus stretching the top of the foot and toes, will also help.


3. Stress fracture

This is the one we all fear, and it happens. Stress fractures are most common in the metatarsal bones of the foot and can take 6 to 8 weeks to fully heal. If you have foot pain which is getting worse with weight bearing and eventually becoming constant, you should definitely get it checked out as soon as possible. A word of warning; X Rays often do not pick up stress fractures in the early stages so get an MRI scan if you can.


How can we help?

As with all injuries, early diagnosis is key to speeding recovery. At Active we have the experience and knowledge to quickly diagnose your problem and put you on an effective treatment plan so you can get active as soon as possible. Advice on appropriate footwear, checking your running and walking gait to check for over activation of the extensor tendons, and ultrasound scanning of the foot can all help us to diagnose the cause of your top of foot pain and get you back on your feet.


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