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What Causes Pain in the Top of Your Foot After Running?

Pain on the top of the foot may be an indicator that you have extensor tendonitis. It can be caused by several conditions including extensor tendonitis, overuse

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By Babafemi Adebajo
Shir Lapidot
Edited by Shir Lapidot

Published October 31, 2021.

Pain in the foot is uncomfortable, relatively common, and can manifest in any area of the foot, including the top. Here are the most common causes of pain on the top of your foot, home remedies, and when to see your doctor.

Can You Break the Top of Your Foot and Still Walk?

It may be possible to walk if the top of your foot is broken, depending on the bone that breaks, the type of fracture, and whether there is an associated soft tissue injury. However, it is likely to be uncomfortable, prolong the healing time, and even make the foot worse.

Common Causes of Pain on the Top of Your Feet

Different conditions can result in pain on top of your feet. Some of the most common are:

  • Extensor tendonitis, characterized by an inflamed tendon and sharp pain on top of the foot when walking
  • Trauma
  • Common peroneal nerve (a branch of the sciatic nerve) dysfunction
  • Bone spurs
  • Stress fracture of the metatarsals
  • Ganglion cysts
  • Arthritis

Home Treatments for Pain on the Top of Your Feet

In many cases, home remedies will be enough to relieve the pain. When you have pain on top of the foot after walking, running, or general use, try using any of the following methods:

  1. Stay off the affected foot
  2. Apply ice to the painful area especially when there is associated inflammation
  3. Wear wide, comfortable shoes
  4. Pad your footwear with soft insoles to relieve pressure points
  5. Gentle stretching exercises of the foot muscles for relieving pain
  6. Use an OTC pain relief medication

When Should You See a Doctor for Top of the Foot Pain?

If the foot pain persists for more than a week despite all home remedies, book an appointment with your physician and stay off the foot until you see the doctor.