pain on top of foot when walking

The Main Reasons You May Be Feeling Pain in the Top Part of the Foot when Walking

pain on top of foot when walking

Pain is nothing easy to deal with regardless of where it occurs. While there are times when a pain may not be serious, the truth is that in some cases a pain felt in a particular area of the body can be a sign of an underlying issue that has to be treated.

Foot pain is more than just common and it is probable that you will feel pain in the foot area at least once in your life.

As a matter of fact, this kind of pain is so commonly encountered out there that no less than 75% of the people living in America have stated that they have suffered from some form of foot pain throughout their lifetime.

When pain occurs on the top part of the foot, it can make it difficult to walk, as this is a part that directly influences the movement.

There can be many causes that lead to the development of pain in this area and following, you will be presented with some of the more common ones.

Pain in the Top Part of the Foot

Top of the foot pain when walking can be caused by a variety of issues and it is important that you are diagnosed correctly so that the right treatment can be applied.

Here are some of the most frequent and important causes that lead to upper area foot pain:

Stress fractures

These are among the leading causes for foot pain in general and they can affect any area of the foot.

Considering the fact that the foot has no less than 24 bones and that these fractures occur in the bones themselves, it is no wonder that they can be so commonly encountered.

When pressure is put on the foot too much and when the movement is repetitive, the muscles will grow tired and they will allow the bones to take off some of the pressure.

Consequently, this can lead to small fractures in the bones of the feet, which can indeed become painful.

Athletes and people performing repetitive movements that put pressure on their feet are among the ones more prone to develop this kind of issue.

Extensor tendonitis

The foot is sustained by a series of tendons which can grow inflamed when faced with repetitive and tenuous movement.

The tendon at the top part of the foot is called “extensor” and it can grow inflamed, which leads to the development of extensor tendonitis.

The pain in this case will settle itself in a gradual way, and the foot may become tender to the touch and it can make it uncomfortable for footwear.

Deformities of the toes

There are 3 main types of deformities that can occur with toes: mallet toes, claw toes and hammer toes. These deformities affect the position of the toe bones and they can be caused by improper footwear, as well as by a series of other diseases as well.

Among them, arthritis, neural and vascular issues are the most common ones. Also, injuries brought to the toes can sometimes cause these deformities as well.


This is a form of arthritis where the body contains too much uric acid that will be deposited in the joints (most frequently, in the first toe of the foot, but not exclusively there).

The pain caused by gout can be almost unbearable, it can be very sudden and it can come along with a series of other symptoms, including swelling, redness and heat.

People with diabetes, people eating foods rich in purines and people who suffer from obesity can be more prone to develop gout.

Also, it has been shown that genetics can play an important part in the development of this disease as well.

Nerve entrapment

Nerves found in the top area of the foot sometimes get entrapped (or pinched) and when that happens, pain can occur.

Swelling caused by an injury, dropping something very heavy on the foot as well as footwear that is too tight can be among the causes that lead to nerve entrapment.

Together with the burning pain, numbness and pins in the foot area can be experienced too.

Tarsal coalition

This is a more uncommon disease that is congenital and which causes 2 or more of the foot bones to connect to each other due to a bridge bone that occurs unnaturally.

Foot pain is accompanied by stiffness and instability and the disease starts to manifest itself somewhere in between the moment the child is 10 years old and the moment he/she is 15 years old.

Sinus tarsi syndrome

The sinus tarsi is a channel that can be found between the ankle and the top part of the foot. Through this channel there are ligaments, blood vessels and nerves.

The syndrome itself is caused most frequently due to instability as well as due to repetitive movements such as those made in ballet or baseball.

The pain develops on top part of the foot and on the outside of the ankle and it can become worse when activity is performed. Furthermore, ankle stiffness may appear in the morning and the foot may be tender to the touch.

The Treatment Available for the Top Part of the Foot Pain

It is extremely important that you go to the doctor for serious examination of your foot because this is the only way in which you can be diagnosed correctly.

A correct diagnosis is essential for finding the right treatment and for the improvement of your condition, so do make sure that you do not ignore the pain for too long.

In most of the cases, there is non-surgical treatment available. It most likely will involve resting as well as immobilizing the foot (with or without casting).

However, there are cases when there may be the need to undergo surgical treatment and the tarsal coalition is one very good example. Surgery turns out successful in most of the cases, so there is no need to worry about it.

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