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Foot Pain Top of Foot

Pain on top of the foot can be disabling even though it sounds to be manageable and not much of a stress. This is basically localized in the 3rd and 4th metatarsal of the foot, the two most common areas affected of top foot pain. The athletes are the favored victims of such condition. There are also other parts of the foot that are much gravely affected, rather than the top of our foot. Because of this, activities become restricted and one becomes unable to perform activities of daily living.


The manifestations of pain on the top of the foot are basically almost similar with the symptoms of other foot problems. The following are the said common complaints of clients suffering from pain on the top of foot:

  1. Foot movement restriction. There seemed to be a feeling of disability as the pain masks the sensation of the foot. This then becomes a difficulty for the affected.
  2. Foot weakness. Since there is pain sensation, the affected tends to become weakened from the foot pain.
  3. Limping. This is more common to those suffering from heel pain, but this does not exclude those suffering from pain on top of the foot.
  4. Walking in tiptoes is a hard task. This is due to the restriction that is accompanied by the problem.
  5. Running and walking become a hard task.


There are a number of causes for top of foot pain. The following are the said causes of foot pain (top of foot):

  1. Tendonitis. This is a condition that is defined as inflammation of the tendons. This is believed as the common cause of pain on top of the foot among the active people and athletes. This is mainly caused by the overt tightness of the shoe or the tying of shoelaces. After a marathon, this condition may also develop. The factors behind this cause are basically the footwear, activity and training activities.
  2. Fracture. A fracture is a rare cause of foot pain but is considered as a serious form of cause. This can result to a more difficult problem. Tarsal fractures are the most common cause of pain on top of foot.
  3. Arthritis. This is an autoimmune disorder affecting the nerves and bones of the feet causing pain and discomfort. There shall be decrease in bone density that makes a person have a weaker bone and prone to fractures. The joints are affected that makes discomfort more debilitating.


Diagnosis for this condition shall start with gathering the client’s medical history. This shall assist the client from knowing the root cause of the condition and that treatment would be easily managed. Physical examination shall also proceed. The following are instructed of the patient in order to assess his or her current state:

  1. Examination at rest. The client is placed in a non-weight bearing exercise in order to assess the movement of the foot. Restriction of the area would suggest problems of the tendons.
  2. Identification of deformities is also suitable for this may be the root of the pain.
  3. Foot muscles are to be tested through activities such as walking, standing and running.
  4. Injury is checked. When injury is suspected, an X-ray is to be done in order to check the extent of the problem. An MRI may also be necessary.
  5. A bone scan can be done in order to determine the patient’s bone and soft tissues’ integrity.


Medical treatment for pain on top of the foot is directly aimed to reduce the discomfort and avoid worsening of the problem. The following are said to be the medical interventions for foot pain:

  1. Corrective shoes. These are provided in order to relieve the problem of the foot. This is not a long-term replacement for the current shoes but is temporary in order to treat the problem. Proper footwear is also recommended.
  2. Provide anti-inflammatory agents to relieve the discomfort. NSAIDs are commonly prescribed.
  3. In cases of fracture, corrective surgery is required.
  4. Led light therapy is done in order to reduce pain. This is an expensive form of treatment but can indeed assist the patient to comfort.


Home remedies are indeed of help as this is also accessible and not expensive. The following are the proposed remedies for pain on top of the foot:

  1. Provide rest. This can facilitate healing. Restriction of movement on the affected foot is necessary to attain wellness.
  2. Provide exercise. The exercise should not include strenuous activities for it can only worsen the problem. It is suggested that the client would follow easy range of motion exercises. Stretching exercises should be monitored and that a physical therapist should be assisting the client.
  3. Massage. This is not entirely suggested to patients but is quite helpful too. This can only relieve the discomfort but cannot correct the problem.
  4. Follow the RICE treatment. This is done through providing REST, ICE application on the affected area, COMPRESSION and ELEVATION.

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