Feeling pain on the top of your foot when you know you didn’t bump it or drop anything on it may seem strange. What causes pain on the very top of your foot that doesn’t have to do with blunt object trauma?
You could’ve strained or injured your foot in some other way than by hitting it or knocking it with something. While you may not understand what causes pain and swelling on the top of your foot, there may be a reasonable explanation for it. I would like to tell you about some activities that cause pain in the foot and discuss some medical conditions that could be affecting your foot.
Overuse Can Injure Your Foot
Any activity that requires you to use your feet a lot could cause damage on the top of your foot, even if you didn’t hit it against something. You don’t have to trip or fall while running to injure the top of your foot. Simply running so much that you overuse your foot can be enough to cause pain there.
You may be used to that if you’ve ever run and sprained your ankle. Or maybe you felt pain in your tendon after running at too steep of an angle. Repetitive motion injuries can also occur, causing pain even when nothing came into contact with your foot.
Just as your tendon can become injured with overuse, so too can the top of your foot. As you run, walk, swim, or do some other form of physical exertion, you can overuse your foot. These kinds of activities can tire your foot out and cause pain that may be throbbing, sharp, or dull.
The kind of activity you’re doing intensity of that activity could be what causes pain on the top of your foot. If you’re wondering why your foot hurts and what might have caused it, think back to what kind of activities you did recently. If you can narrow it down to some sort of physical exertion that involved your foot, it’s probably best to take a rest and allow your foot time to heal. Even if the pain is not severe, letting a minor injury heal can prevent it from becoming a much worse one.
When overuse of your foot leads to pain, this can create one of several kinds of medical conditions. One of those is extensor tendonitis. If your shoes are too tight or you’re overusing your feet, the tendons along the top of the foot can feel painful. They may suffer from inflammation and can be treated with a cold compress medication that reduces inflammation.
Stress fractures can occur when your feet are overused as well. They are particularly common for people who run on hard surfaces like concrete. Fractures in the metatarsal bones along the top of the feet can be caused by overstressing your feet, and you’ll likely notice pain and swelling at the top of your feet if you suffer from this problem.
With sinus tarsi syndrome, you end up with an inflamed sinus tarsi. This is a part of the foot that runs between the ankle bone and the heel, and this condition will cause you to feel pain not just on the top of your foot but also on the outer edge of the ankle. It is very rare, however.
Other Medical Conditions That Cause Foot Pain
You may experience pain on the top of your foot not because of overuse but because of a medical condition you are suffering from. This condition may have nothing to do with using your feet or any kind of physical exertion.
For instance, gout can cause intense pain on the top of the foot and at the base of your large toe. This pain can come on suddenly and unexpectedly.
If you experienced numbness or prickling in your foot along with pain, you may be suffering from peripheral neuropathy. This can also spread the same symptoms up to the legs from the feet.
Another medical condition that could cause pain on the top of your feet would be bone spurs. These growths appear on your joints including the joints of your feet and around your toes. These can be very painful and can make it difficult for you to walk properly.
What causes a foot to have pain on the top of your foot besides these conditions? If you notice pain and tingling along the top of your foot as well as weakness in your lower leg in your foot, you may be suffering from common peroneal nerve dysfunction. This affects your sciatic nerve and can cause shooting pain that you probably want to seek out a pain reliever to deal with.
What Causes the Pain on the Top of Your Foot in Plantar Fasciitis?
The connective ligaments called the plantar fascia connect your heel to the front of your foot. When it starts to hurt because of overuse, injury, or inflammation, you’re suffering from what is called plantar fasciitis. Most often, runners will be the ones who suffer from this affliction, but it could affect anybody who damages are overuses their feet.
Plantar fasciitis is characterized by stiffness as well as pain in the arch and heel of your foot. It’s not something that goes away after a few hours, and it may take a few days for it to get better period you’ll usually feel worst when you wake up in the morning, and then it can also become worse when you stand or walk for a long period of time.
If plantar fasciitis is something that you suffer from often, you may need to decrease the intensity of your workouts or change the socks or shoes that you wear. If your shoe is too tight or restrictive, it can cause damage to the plantar fascia. You may also want to add gel inserts or some other support to your shoes to make sure that your arch is properly supported.
To relieve plantar fasciitis pain, you can stretch out slowly. Don’t stretch so much that you cause further injury, but gentle stretching can definitely help to ease tension and pain in that part of the foot.
How Do You Know if It’s Serious?
A lot of the medical conditions and injuries to the foot that I’ve talked about may be minor. How do you tell if the problem is serious enough that it requires medical attention or consultation with your doctor?
Pain is severe enough that over-the-counter pain medication is not enough to allow you to sleep at night and to function normally, then you should definitely see a doctor. Also, if the pain persists for more than a few days, you should speak to your doctor. There may be a fracture or an underlying health problem that needs treatment.
Your doctor may be able to notice problems that you can’t see for yourself and treat the root cause rather than just the symptoms. Your doctor may also be able to prescribe medication you can’t get over the counter that would be more effective in your situation.
You should also see your doctor if you frequently experience pain on the top of your foot. Even if it only causes you pain for a couple days at a time, if it happens frequently, there may be a medical issue that needs to be addressed. You may be overexerting yourself and need to change your exercise regimen. You may have shoes or socks that are too tight that are causing you frequent pain as well.
Don’t wait too long to get medical help and talk to your doctor. If some of the root causes of foot pain are not treated soon, they can become worse or may leave you with lifelong problems.