I didn`t even realize how common is the top of foot pain these days, but after doing some research, I`ve decided it would be a good idea to address it and try to help you deal with it.
Foot pain is generally, pretty common. It is estimated that a regular person makes over 10,000 steps each day, and stands for a couple hours. And if you are a physically fit and active, these numbers will increase even further. Naturally, this will put an incredible amount of strain to the bones, muscles and ligaments of your ankles and feet.
But, this type of pain is temporary in nature. Top of foot pain, however, may last longer and present with much more intensive, even debilitating pain.
One of the most common causes of this pain is the inflammation of the tendons of the foot. Inflammation (tendinitis) is usually caused by tying your shoes too tightly and/or repetitive motion, such as running.
Now, I am not saying you should avoid running by all cost, I`m just saying you need to be more careful when choosing your running shoes, surface you are about to run on and the time you will spend running.
Fractures are another, particularly nasty, cause of pain in the foot. Fractures may occur as a consequence of a nasty fall, being stepped on, if your foot is run over etc. The fractures are easy to identify since the fracture location will be very painful and swollen.
Other common causes will include:
- Pinched nerve
- Ingrown toenail
- Improper shoes etc.
Of course, the ever-present symptom is pain, but it doens`t necessarily narrows it down to a specific condition, so we need to look for other symptoms such as:
- Weakness in the foot. If there is any inflammatory or painful process going on in your foot, naturally, it will be weaker than your “healthy” foot.
- Physical changes that may occur are – swelling, redness, warmth and tenderness of the foot
- The person (you) may start limping. Limping is a common defense mechanism of our body when confronted with a pain in the foot which is limiting its natural range of motion
- Simple tasks like running and even walking become a challenging task
Foot Pain When Running
NOTE: If you feel that your pain is severe and debilitating, you should try to avoid running before visiting your doctor!
If your pain is mild and you are planning on going for a run, here are a few things you can do to make it more enjoyable and less painful:
- Try getting bigger shoes and don`t tie your shoe laces too tight
- Try putting and extra sole into your shoes
- If you have a bone spur on the upper surface of the bone, you should make a doughnut-shaped pad to fit it over your bone spur (source: CoolRunning)
Foot Pain And Walking
If you are experiencing top of foot pain when walking, you should stop and get some rest. Have a seat or lie down and elevate your feet while applying ice, to reduce the swelling and inflammation.
If you are experiencing foot pain often, you should consider physical therapy in order to strengthen your muscles and ligaments. And, as a last resort, you can discuss surgery with your doctor.
As I`ve said before, foot pain is generally temporary in nature, but if it turns into chronic pain over time, you need to do something about it! And, even though I will tell you what you need to do to help yourself, I advise you to visit your doctor as soon as you are able.
If you are experiencing severe pain, and are desperate for something fast and effective, you can turn to over-the-counter medication. But, you need to know that those meds will only address the symptoms (pain) and not address the root cause of your problem.
If you have suffered a fracture, surgery may be required, followed by rest and immobilization.
Corrective shoes are another great way to deal with this problem. Now, I know that corrective shoes don`t exactly sound too appealing (especially if you are young, hip guy/girl) but you need to set your priorities – is your health more important than the way you look? It should be!
Foot Stretching Exercises
I`ve saved the best for last – exercises! There is nothing more effective than exercising, and I always gladly recommend them. So, how can you stretch your feet? Just keep on reading and you`ll find out…
Stretching your tendons. It is always best to start out by stretching your tendons. You need to stand up straight and step on a book, with your heels extending so that they touch the floor. Hold this position for about 30 seconds and stretch those tendons as much as you can.
Flexing your foot. Lie down on your back with you legs extended in front of you. Flex your left leg in the hip and knee until your feet becomes parallel to the floor. Now, flex your foot (by raising it off the floor). Hold the position for several seconds and release.
Towel stretch. Lie down on the floor, wrap the towel around the foot and pull it towards you.
Bottle roll. This exercise can be very fun, enjoyable and a bit ticklish. Sit in your chair, legs flexed at 90 degrees. Now get a bottle (plastic filled with water) and place it under your foot. Roll it back and forth for 20-30 seconds, then switch feet.
Intertwining. I saw this exercise on Fit Sugar. It is fairly straightforward, just sit down on the floor, flex your legs, lean over and intertwine your toes with your fingers. This exercise is great for bunions and it will release the tension in your feet.