Foot pain isn’t an issue to take lightly. When you feel that something abnormal is going on with your feet or ankles, it’s important to talk to a professional about the problem. Our feet do most of the heavy lifting in our lives even though we might rarely think about it. A more significant issue might be to blame if something is impairing one or both of your feet.
If you find that your pain gets to the point where you can no longer do activities you used to enjoy, it’s time to talk to a specialist. In this article, we’ll go over the causes, symptoms, and potential treatment options for people who are experiencing pain on the top of their feet.
What Causes Pain on Top of the Foot?
There are actually quite a few conditions that can contribute to experiencing pain on the top of your foot. Usually, this type of pain is associated with overuse of the feet during physical activities. Some examples of these types of activities include kicking, running, and jumping. Here are some of the conditions that can cause a person to experience pain on the top of their foot:
Stress fractures are essentially tiny cracks in the bone. These types of fractures occur from overuse and repetitive force, so people who engage in sports where they must run long distances or continuously jump are more likely to suffer from them. The metatarsal bones, which are located at the top of the feet, are particularly prone to stress fractures. A symptom of this type of fracture is usually swelling.
This condition occurs when your extensor tendons (the tendons that help you lift your toes and move your ankle upward) become inflamed. Like stress fractures, extensor tendonitis tends to be caused by overuse and repetitive motions. These motions build up irritation over time, which is why this injury occurs mostly in athletes or people who do physical labor for work.
Sinus Tarsi Syndrome
Sinus Tarsi Syndrome is a rare condition that can also cause pain on the top of the foot. Normally, this syndrome results from repetitive traumatic injury to the feet. This is especially common for people who experience chronically sprained ankles. The syndrome causes chronic pain in the ankle and heel, but can also cause pain on the top of the foot or the outside of the heel.
What to do About Top of Foot Pain
If you keep experiencing the same pain on the top of your foot after a week of taking care of it at home with plenty of rest, it’s time to see a doctor. If your pain is severe enough to cause feelings of numbness, tingling, or burning, or if it prevents you from walking, you should seek medical care immediately.
A doctor might ask you questions about your physical activity or any past injuries you’ve had to your feet or ankles. Your doctor will also test your foot’s range of mobility and examine your foot to see where the pain is occurring. If they suspect that you have a fracture or a broken bone, your doctor will order an x-ray of your foot. In addition to these tests, your doctor might run blood tests to detect conditions like gout or have you get an MRI to look for damage to the peroneal nerve.
Our feet support our entire bodies, so seeking treatment when you’re in pain now rather than later can save you quite a bit of pain in the long run. Even a mild injury can quickly turn severe and become more extensive if not treated properly. This is why it’s so important to seek care when you suspect an underlying injury or condition to your pain.
Swelling on Top of the Foot
Causes of swelling in the foot, in addition to the injuries and conditions listed above, can include lymphatic or blood vessel blockages, ankle arthritis, and infections like cellulitis. There are many different treatment options for a swollen foot depending on what the underlying cause might be. The silver lining here is that most conditions that cause this type of pain can be treated and your feet will eventually completely heal. Here are some of the most common treatment options your doctor will provide for you:
Casts or Walking Boots
Usually, a cast or walking boot can treat a broken or fractured foot over a period of time. These devices help immobilize the injured bone and typically reduce the pain and swelling as your bone heals, keeping it in proper alignment.
Your doctor will probably suggest that you use NSAIDs or other anti-inflammatory drugs in the case of a swollen foot. These medications can reduce swelling, and relieve pain. They are typically sold over the counter, so there’s usually no need for a prescription.
This is one of the most important treatment options for people who have developed a condition in their feet or for people who have suffered a traumatic injury. Physical therapists are trained professionals who examine your individual needs as a patient and design a treatment plan to restore some or full mobility in your foot. Not only do physical therapists help patients heal, but they also provide useful information to help their patients avoid re-injury and take care of their bodies so that they can reduce or manage pain better.
Where to go for Foot Pain
If you are experiencing foot pain and are looking for specialists to help, consider us at Foot and Ankle Specialists of Illinois. Our Algonquin doctors are experts in podiatry and will be able to provide immense help to you in your healing journey. We use the latest technologies available to us to establish a diagnosis and personalize your treatment plan based on your individual injury or condition. Foot health is a very important part of establishing your overall health and wellness. To book an appointment or read testimonials from patients, see our website today.