Pain on Top of the foot – Causes and Treatments for Top of Foot Hurts

Pain on top of the foot makes us uncomfortable and irritated. It is difficult to walk, jog, and run or even to stand for few minutes when the top of my foot hurts. Top of foot pain are different stages depending on the severity of the pain can be mild, intermittent, severe, chronic. Are you ever wondered, why does the top of my foot hurt?

You can experience a sharp pain on the top of your foot especially near the ankle while when walking, running, or standing. Sometimes, the top of my foot hurts when you put pressure on it. Okay, why is the pain coming from on top of your foot?

At an average, a person walks 10,000 steps and stands for 5 hours a day. The upper foot is a part where there are 26 bones and 33 joints, which are supported by more than a hundred muscles, nerves, and ligaments. Every action the leg does, the stress is produced in upper foot.

That complex structure is mainly responsible for the shock absorption when a person jumps or walks. It also supports our weight, pushes our legs forward, and helps in maintaining the balance. When there is so much work to be done by a single part, stress increases that lead to sharp pain on top of the foot.

pain on top of foot

Symptoms of Top of Foot Pain

The symptoms that are present when you experience top foot pain are as follows.

  • Swelling on top of foot
  • Blisters
  • Burning sensation on top of foot
  • Sore spot on top of foot
  • Tender skin on top of the foot
  • Redness around the spot
  • Scaly and flaking skin on top of foot
  • Itchy on affected area
  • Intermittent sharp pain on top of foot
  • Increased pain while standing or walking
  • Difficulty in standing or walking
  • Bones on top of feet hurt
  • Top of feet sore

Causes of Pain on Top of Foot

Why does the top of my foot hurt? Pain on the top of the foot can be caused by different conditions. Due to the complex arrangement in the foot and the huge amount of stress it takes in, there may be injuries or cramps. Some of them are as follows.

1. Stress Fracture

The stress fracture is one of the primary cause for the sharp pain on top of your foot. They are caused due to the sudden increase in the physical activity, especially in legs. When the stress increases unusually, the bone connecting the toes and ankle tends to break causing a stress fracture. In this case, there will be a severe pain and swell on top of the foot. The skin at the spot might become tender to touch.

2. Ganglion Cyst

The cyst is formed in a form of fluid-filled, bulging capsule. When such cysts form around the joints of the foot, it is called ganglion cyst. Such types of cysts are formed due to aging when the fluids in the joints escape. This might also occur spontaneously due to injuries.

These ganglion cysts are often harmless and do not show any symptom. But when they are pressed with the nerve, a pain is experienced due to the cyst pressing the vein. The painless ganglion cyst will grow as large as a golf ball.

3. Osteoarthritis

The burning pain on top of the foot is caused by Osteoarthritis. There are many cartilages present in the foot. When the cartilages break, it causes a pain in the top sole due to the arrangement of bones. The pain is severe when the affected cartilages are near toes.

4. Tarsal Coalition

This Tarsal Coalition normally occurs in children. There are about 300 bones for a born baby, as they grow the bones fused and form a stable structure but the count reduces to 206. The tarsal coalition is the fuse of two-foot bones that are normally separate. This affects the flexibility of the foot and toes. This will cause a pain in the top of the foot. Other effects are stiffness in the feet and rolling ankle.

5. Tendonitis

Tendonitis often occurs because of tight shoes. This occurs due to the stress that is created on the foot due to an improper size of footwear. This might also occur by running on uneven surfaces causing pain on the foot top. When any activity is done with the pain, it worsens the situation and pain radiates towards ankle which leads to throbbing pain in the foot. This affects most of the sports activities such as kicking a ball, severe pain is felt.

6. Gout

Gout, a common cause of pain on top of the foot, is a type of inflammatory arthritis caused due to the formation of uric acid which forms crystals in joints. This is caused due to certain hormonal imbalances in the body like diabetes, obesity and other causes like genetics. This is also one of the cause for the top of foot pain.

7. Athlete’s Foot

A fungal infection of the skin around the fingers, top or bottom of the foot is called athlete’s foot. This condition is also a cause for the sharp pain on top of the foot.

This is mainly caused due to poor foot hygiene like wearing tight shoes, damp socks, warm humid conditions in the foot. Athlete’s foot is a contagious infection. Such type of infection is passed through towels, floors, and showers.

8. Trauma

Any injury such as fracture, sprains, ingrown nails or torn muscles in your foot causes trauma that brings about the top of foot pain.

How to Treat the Top of Foot Pain?

Some important treatments for the foot top pain are as follows.

1. Stress Fractures

For immediate relief, ice is applied on the spot where there is swelling and paining. Ankle Brace is used to support the foot and resting with it tends to heal such fractures. Medication with doctor’s advice is required for fast healing. In acute cases, surgical repair may be required.

2. Ganglion Cyst

Formation of such cysts occurs naturally. It doesn’t require any treatment. But it takes several years to heal itself. For fast healing, the liquid within the cyst can be removed using a needle or a minor surgery. Even though it is removed, there are 20% of chances to come again.

3. Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is not completely curable, but it can be treated for temporary relief. The pain can be reduced by giving a hot/cold pack temperature therapy, taking rest when pain increases. Also, maintaining a proper weight will reduce the pressure in foot

4. Tarsal Coalition

Tarsal coalition is complex for treating oneself. There are no home treatments for such conditions. The only thing to attain relief is to rest. For a permanent cure, surgery can be done to separate the fused bones.

5. Tendonitis

Same like the stress fracture, ice pack, resting, and exercise is done for short term relief. Once resistance is developed towards these treatments, surgery can be done for a permanent cure.

6. Gout

Ice pack therapy is only the home treatment that gout responds. Medications/steroids with doctor’s advice are required for cure.

7. Athlete’s Foot

Good hygiene, an anti-fungal medication, tea-tree oil are the remedial measure for athlete’s foot.  Doctor’s advice is required immediately. If left untreated amputation is only the remedy.

8. Trauma

Hot/cold pack therapy is the preliminary treatment. If the pain is not relieved then the condition is severe and doctor’s appointment has to be made quickly.

Some Exercises for Quick Relief on Foot Pain on Top

Try out some quick exercises as follows for fast relief from foot top pain.

  1. Sit on a chair in a relaxed position and keep the arch of your foot on a round object like a ball or a soda can. Roll the arch of the foot along the object front and back for 5 times.

pain on the top of my foot

  1. Sit down on the floor or on a mat with the leg stretched straight. Loop a towel around the top of your foot. Pull the towel to bring your foot towards yourself with the knees straight and hold for about 30 seconds.

top of my foot hurts

When to Approach A Doctor?

Paining on top of the foot is unusual and that indicates a serious issue. Consider seeing the doctor as soon as possible. Diagnosing problems may be complex or difficult; if left untreated more serious problems could arise and become more complex to treat. Thus it is advised to approach your doctor if you experience pain in the foot on top.

In a Nutshell,

Pain on top of the foot affects our daily activities such as walking, running and standing. Okay, why is the pain coming from on top of your foot? Pain on the top of the foot can be caused by different conditions.

One of the hardest worked parts of our bodies is feet as it takes in a force of 1.5 times body weight. 75% of people will have foot pain at some point in their lives. Following the above methods will treat the foot pain on top and reduce it. But for a permanent cure, your doctor would give you best treatment and medication.

About the author

Amanda kelly

She is specialized in alternative medicine. As a nature lover, she has a wealth of knowledge on home remedies for a large number of health problems. she has been trying these remedies for many years and you would like them as well. She has experience editing for both the scientific community and the general public. She joined AskMyHealth in 2015. She loves to hike, use her standup paddleboard, and enjoy all life has to offer.

Leave a Comment