Are you experiencing pain on top of your foot? For one, we understand that they can be very painful and the pain doesn’t subside easily.
In this review, we are going to look at what causes the top of foot pain. We will also look at what can we do to gain relief from this problem as well as what we should do or not do to stay away from foot pain on the top of the foot.
Causes of foot pain on top of the foot?
1. Athlete’s Foot (Tinea Pedis)
Tinea pedis, more popularly known as athlete’s foot, is the most common fungal infection. It is especially prevalent in those who use communal showers or swimming pools.
Tinea pedis may appear as an acute or chronic infection on the soles of the feet or between the toes. The toenail may also be involved. Lymphangitis and cellulitis occur occasionally when bacterial “superinfection” occurs. Sometimes, a mixed infection involving fungi, bacteria, and yeast occur.
During the acute, vesicular phase soaks of Burrow’s solution or potassium permanganate solutions are used to remove the crusts, scales, and debris and to reduce the inflammation.
Topical antifungal agents, such as miconazole and clotrimazole, are applied to the infected areas. Topical therapy is continued for several weeks because of the high rate of recurrence.
Footwear provides a favourable environment for fungi, and the causative fungus may be in the shoes or socks. Because moisture encourages the growth of fungi, the patient is instructed to keep the feet as dry as possible, including the areas between the toes.
Small pieces of cotton can be placed between the toes at night to absorb moisture. Socks should be made of cotton, and hosiery should have cotton feet because cotton is an effective absorber of perspiration.
For people whose feet perspire excessively, perforated shoes permit better aeration of the feet. Plastic or rubber-soled footwear should be avoided. Talcum powder or anti-fungal applied twice daily helps to keep the feet dry. Several pairs of shoes should be alternated so that they can dry completely before being worn again.
2. Meta-tarsal stress fractures
The long bones of our feet are called metatarsals. Each metatarsal is assigned to bear an equal portion of the weight of our bodies as we walk, run, jump, dance and do other things. When the division of weight and pressure becomes unequal, that’s when the problems with the metatarsals start.
Cause: There are various reasons why people experience metatarsal pain. Firstly, it could be due to bone abnormalities. Secondly, diabetes can cause an individual to have metatarsal problems. Arthritis as well as other diseases common to the elderly can also lead to metatarsal problems. Athletes are at a greater risk of having metatarsal problems because sports may force them to place undue pressure on their feet. Ill-fitting shoes can also cause metatarsal pain for similar reasons.
Symptoms: If the ball of your foot is aching, that’s one sure sign of having metatarsal problems. If wearing socks or shoes is suddenly a painful burden, that’s another sign of having metatarsal pain.
Treatment: Orthotics such as special shoe inserts and metatarsal pads can help you deal with the pain. If the pain gets worse, however, you may have to consult a physician about it, as metatarsal problems can also be symptoms of a more serious disease.
#3. Burning Feet
Burning feet is another type of pain on top of foot ailment, wherein people experience a burning sensation, usually during the night. This particular foot ailment is common in people aged 50 years and above. However, it can also happen to the younger generation.
There are many causes of burning feet, but the most common causative factors are overweight, neuropathy in diabetic patients, blood disorders, shoe and sock sizes, erythromelalgia, and blood disorders, such as pernicious anaemia.
There are no easy ways to treat burning feet. Hence, it is important for the patient to visit a rheumatologist, a podiatrist, or a neurologist. A series of tests and examinations will be conducted in order to come up with solid diagnostic findings of the disorder.
All of these things are boiled down to the fact that keeping your feet in good condition means proper protection against the elements.
An extra investment may be required, but in the end, the comfort and reduced risk of complications will be well worth the added expense.
4. Nerve entrapment
Entrapped nerves can also cause the top of foot pain. A trapped nerve can be a nerve simply under pressure- such as when wearing a tight shoe- or it can be a nerve pinched inside a joint. The nature of the pain varies greatly between individuals and according to the exact circumstances of the entrapment.
5. Superficial phlebitis
This means, literally, “inflammation of surface vein”. Superficial phlebitis and superficial thrombosis (inflammation caused by a blood clot blocking the vein. This can be much more serious.) Share the same cause. So it’s recommended that anyone suffering from phlebitis should see a doctor.
6. Extensor Tendonitis
The feasible reason for this problem is actually extreme rigidity from the Achilles tendon. Restricted Achilles tendon location creates extreme tension in the muscles on top of the feet. Stress, as well as restricted footwear, may also trigger the issue.
Your big toe is the South Pole of your body. Rather than being a temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, it is a chilly 93 degrees Fahrenheit down there. So maybe it is not surprising that crystals sometimes form in this anatomically arctic region.
The crystals are noticed, though. They are composed of uric acid, a by-product of normal metabolism that is supposed to stay in liquid form but sometimes becomes a solid.
Since your body regards those crystals as intruders, white blood cells rush to the area and release enzymes that are like attack dogs, specially trained to chew up trespassers.
Unfortunately, those enzymes are indiscriminately vicious. Besides attacking the crystals, they also attack the joint of the toe, which becomes red, swollen, and tender. It is so painfully tender, in fact, that even the weight of a bedsheet can be excruciating. And that is when you feel the effects of gout.
In treating gout, comprehensive medication treatment is available. This includes colchicines, acetaminophen, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, colbenemid, corticosteroid, allopurinol, probenecid, fenofibrate, and losartan.
In most cases of gout, the reason for high uric acid levels is unknown. There are, however, certain avoidable risk factors that increase your chances of getting the first attack.
1. Keep the pounds down
If you are overweight, you are, basically, asking kidneys to process a lot of extra uric acid to deal with the waste from a lot of added-on body cells.
When someone is overweight, the kidneys have to struggle to deal with the overload. That is why you may end up with gout. A good rule of thumb to determine your ideal weight is 100 pounds plus 5 pounds for every inch over 5 feet tall for women. For men, it is 106 pounds plus 6 pounds for every inch over 5 feet.
2. Avoid thin soles
Walking in shoes with very thin soles can also traumatize the toe joint. To be certain the shoes you buy have padding that is thick enough, walk on noncarpeted areas when you are trying them on for the first time. The shoe should be comfortable and have a little cushioning when you push down with your toes.
3. Check your meds
If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure and your doctor has prescribed a thiazide diuretic to control the problem, you should talk to you physician about switching to another medication.
Nowadays, there are many other drugs to treat high blood pressure, including beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, and ACE inhibitors. Health experts say that if you are able to switch to one of these medications, you might avoid ever having the first attack.
8. Hammer/Claw/Mallet Toe
Hammertoes are also called bone spurs. The condition is described as the bending of the toe’s joints. The bending is abnormal and can arise from the pressure placed on the toes, most commonly by people who are fond of wearing tight-fitting shoes.
Hammertoes have different symptoms. It can include pain in the toe as the person wears tight-fitting shoes. There could also be a swelling of the skin that is commonly known as corns. It can develop anywhere around the toes. Sometimes, it can even be found between toes. Sometimes it comes soft rather than the usually hard, depending upon its location. Calluses can also be seen either at the base of the toe or at the rounded edge of the foot.
The treatment of hammertoes can be one of the following:
1. Trimming of the corns and calluses. Do not do this yourself. This has to be done only by a healthcare professional. If you do this by yourself, you might just develop cuts and eventually, infection.
2. The padding of corns and calluses. A foot and ankle surgeon can give you pads that can shield corns from being irritated. You can also opt to buy these at drug stores.
3. Change your shoes. You should avoid wearing shoes with pointed tips, those that are too short for you, or those with high heels. These types of shoes would only force your toes against the front end of the shoes.
4. Injection therapy. There are some medications that can be injected which can ease the pain, as well as the inflammation as caused by hammertoe.
5. Surgery. When the hammertoe becomes too rigid, a surgery may be the only other option. This would outwardly alleviate the pain and discomfort caused by the condition.
Pain On Top Of Foot Explained
What can we do to keep from getting top of the foot pain?
There are many things you can do in this regard, but I’ll mention only a few important ones here. Feel free to look for more on the internet.
If you wear high heels, try wearing them only occasionally or if possible, not at all. Also keep their height below 2 inches.
When you purchase shoes, make sure they fit your leg and what you intend to do in them. I.e. walking shoes are not meant to be used for running in.
Maintain your feets’ health. When you trim toenails, cut them right across- this prevents the nails from growing in.
Those are only a few tips to avoid top of the foot pain, there are lots more. The more you know the better. So read as much as you can about this subject.
What you can do at home to reduce pain on top of foot:
There is a very popular and effective short-term method for top of foot pain; it’s called “RICE”. This stands for Rest- Ice- Compression and Elevation.
This is very simple and straightforward, yet highly effective and safe (as long as the ice isn’t applied for too long).
So how does this therapy work?
Well, the ice serves to subside inflammation and swelling while also numbing pain. The elevation and compression help the circulation and prevents fluid build-up.
Obviously, if there is any major concern and you find it very hard to walk etc, it is advised to seek medical attention immediately.
What can you do to keep from getting pain on top of your foot?
There are unfortunately so many causes of foot pain, some of which are mentioned above. There are even more available treatments available to stop it from happening again – most of which this website is designed to help with.
If you are often wearing high-heeled shoes, try wearing them only occasionally or if possible, not at all. Preferably, keep the height of the heel below 2 inches – any height above this places huge amounts of strain on the anterior tendons of the foot and lower leg.
When you purchase your shoes in future, make sure they fit your feet correctly. Ideally, get activity-specific footwear, for example, walking shoes are not meant to be used for running in.
Be sure to maintain your feet. Keep an eye on the skin and trim toenails regularly. In most cases cut them right across, this prevents the nails from growing in at the corners.