What Causes Pain in the Top of the Foot?


Quick Answer

Some of the most common causes of pain on the top part of the foot include a stress fracture, extensor tendinitis, degenerative arthritis and deformities of the toes, informs Foot-Pain-Explored.com. The latter condition usually causes pain on the top of the foot concentrated in the area directly adjacent to the toes.

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Full Answer

Each of these conditions has a set of its own causes and particular symptoms that a diagnostician considers when making a diagnosis and recommending treatment, according to Foot-Pain-Explored.com. Repetitive or sudden intensification of activities involving extensive kicking, jumping or running can cause a stress fracture in one of the bones of the foot, usually in one of the metatarsals. The pain from the fracture is intense, with swelling and tenderness in the area.

Extensor tendinitis is the swelling and irritation of the tendons running along the top of the foot, states Foot-Pain-Explored.com. Wearing overly tight footwear, standing for extended periods, walking or running on uneven surfaces repetitively, and dropping a heavy object on the foot are common causes of such inflammation and discomfort.

Shoes that force the toe area of the foot to adjust in an unnatural position cause deformities of the toes, notes Foot-Pain-Explored.com. The culprits are usually high-heeled shoes or those designed with very narrow toe areas, leading to abnormal toe positions that can become permanent.

Degenerative arthritis is a common type of arthritis that can affect the foot and cause pain on the top of the foot. This is often the cause of foot pain where the top of the foot looks swollen and thicker than normal. It is not uncommon in people with flat feet or a lower arch. Degenerative arthritis is also related to the big toe joint, where most of the foot pain is felt near the big toe.

Treatment for top foot pain depends on the cause, ranging from custom orthotics to anti-inflammatory pain relievers.

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