I am having pain on the top of my right foot slightly above where my foot bends.It is almost in the center, closer to where it bends and not near my toes. No redness or swelling. Have not injured it in any way or been wearing uncomfortable shoes. Hurts a little to the touch, but more when I walk. It seems as if the top of my foot would pop, it would feel better. I have had something similar with my ankle in the past and it would feel like it needed to pop and then the pain would go away. Can you please help? Thank you.
Hi Christina, The two most common causes of pain in the area you describe are either tendonitis of the tendons that bring the toes up or possibly a stress fracture. Unfortunately, beyond that I cannot help you; a visit to a podiatrist should solve your problem. Marc Mitnick DPM
I have been having a lot of pain on the top of my foot. I guess it's close to my ankle, but its not my ankle. It is on the top of my foot, off toward the outside. When I look at my foot, if you start at my pinky toe & go towards the inside, the pain is located over the last 2 or 3 toes, but on the top of my foot, up towards my ankle. It's not in my toes, it's not in the ball of my foot, it's not in the heel. It's really difficult to explain. There is no swelling, redness, or anything. Just constant pain, especially when I try to walk.
I know this began when I joined a gym. I have been walking on a treadmill, but I don't know if the treadmill started the problem, or it just became more noticeable when I started walking more. I am excessively overweight, so I know that may be the problem. I guess I was just hoping for some advice. Should I stop using the treadmill so it will stop hurting, or should I keep it up in hopes that it will get better as I lose weight? I don't have insurance to go to a doctor to treat this. I am trying to lose weight to better my health overall, but I am getting to the point the pain is so bad I can't sleep on days I go to the gym. Also, will walking at an incline make this worse? I don't walk fast, but I do walk at a slight incline on the treadmill. (only a 1.0 out of 10.0!) Days that I don't go to the gym, I really don't do a lot of walking at all. Oh..the pain is in both feet, but especially bad in my left one.
Any help is greatly appreciated.
Hi Kristen, This is a pitfall many of my patients fall into; they are trying to exercise to lose weight, but then they hurt their foot and cannot exercise and so they get absolutely nowhere. Your excess weight may be part of the problem, but based on your description it sounds like you have tendonitis as that is the most common cause of pain on top of the foot in the area you described. The other, less likely possibility would be a stress fracture. Read my section on tendonitis, stop the treadmill for a week, see if the condition improves. If so, then I would resume the treadmill, but I would ice the top of the foot both before and after the treadmill, plus I would recommend taking one advil or motrin (assuming you can tolerate them), 30 minutes before your treadmill activity. The ice and medication will help keep the inflammation down. Marc Mitnick DPM
I'm 38 and for the last month I have been having a sharp pinching feeling at the top of my right foot. Above the big and Middle toe. Also having hip pain and Knee pain in the same leg.
Hi, The knee and hip pain may or may not be related to the foot pain you are experiencing. "Pinching" sensation to me is suggestive of a nerve entrapment particularly of a superficial nerve which is directly under the skin. In this instance the entrapment is usually from irritation at the top of your foot secondary to a shoe being laced too tight. The only way to know for sure is to have it examined by your doctor. Good luck. Marc Mitnick DPM
I have the pain on the top of my foot. The pain is on the top near the ankle and when moving it the pain shots down to my big toe and then down to my ankle. I have not hurt it in any way that I can recall. The pain it there no matter what I do. I could me just laying on the bed, hanging off the bed, riding in the car or walking on it. The pain for the most part is around a 8. The only other thing is when I move my big toe up and down the pain goes to a 10. Thank you for your time.
The most obvious cause would be a tendonitis of the tendon that moves the big toe upwards. This can occur without any history of trauma. Since you are having so much pain, why not see a doctor and let he or she confirm the diagnosis. Marc Mitnick DPM
when I get up in the morning I have a pain on the top of my foot. The first few step are pretty painful. Then the pain slowly diminishes. One thing I thought of today. With all the hot weather I have been flip flops a lot on weekends. Maybe that is causing the pain.
Hi Alan, Read my section on midtarsal fault. Sounds like that might be the problem particularly because you have been wearing flip-flops so much. Marc Mitnick DPM
It is a constant pain on the top of both of my feet, it is very difficult to walk when I first get up in the morning or after a short sit down break.My toes seem to be fine, the pain seems to be from my toes to my ankles. It is bad enough to keep me awake at night,elevating them or letting them dangle doesn't relieve the pain. After I stumble around for a couple of minutes they do move a little easier but still painful,
Hi, Most pain that occurs upon initial ambulation is generally arthritic in nature, particularly if it subsides after you walk about. What I do not like about your comments is the fact that the pain keeps you up at night. You need to see a podiatrist, there is help available. Marc Mitnick DPM
I have been experienceing foot pain for several weeks now and am unsure as to what is causing the problem and what may be done to help it. I have not done anything that would explain the type of pain I am experienceing, no stumbles or falls or impact of any kind. I awoke with an intense pain as if something had been strained or out of place in the top portion of my foot which has spread to my ankle, it seems to get quite aggrivated by any walking and requires a flat foot to do so. The pain is more pronounced with any sort of flexing or bending, although no swelling is apparent it feels almost as though something were out of place or may be tendon related. I have visited a clinic where it was suggested that I have blood work to be sure it is not Gout, however I feel this diagnosis is inaccurate and would appreciate a different opinion. If someone could reply to my inquiry it would be much appreciated. Thank you. -Tara-
Hi Tara, I do not know how old you are but I doubt it is gout. Off the top of my head the first thing that comes to mind would be tendonitis of the tendons that move your toes upward. This can occur without any history of trauma; something as simple as doing a lot of walking one day could cause this type of problem. Your best bet would be to see a different doctor. Marc Mitnick DPM
I have been having a lot of foot pain on the top of both of my feet running up to the front of my ankles. It hurts the most if I have not been moving for several minutes and then stand or walk. The initial pain is quite painful and then becomes an ache as I continue walking. I have described this initial pain upon getting up in the morning , or after even a brief period of rest/inactivity, as it "feeling like if I bear weight on my feet all of the small bones in the top of my feet will break". This started right after I gave birth 3 months ago. I have a family history of autoimmune disorders (rheumatoid and fibromyalgia) I also have 2 family members dx with gout. As a teenager I had my left foot broken from being stepped on in a track race. I was also dx with bursitis by my family doctor in my right heel as a teenager. (Heel was excrutiating to walk, but with my snug spiked track shoes on it didn't hurt when running. Hurt when wearing no shoes or walking). He recommened ibuprofen, but this did not seem to help. It seemed to resolve itself after many months. I am 33 yo now. Thanks for your input. I was not sure if I should see a doctor or if this is another one of those pains related to pregnancy. If you get a chance my email is
Hi Tanya, I do not know how much weight you gained, but there is a real possibility that your pain is hormonal in nature, which in turn relax your ligaments and may cause the type of pain you are experiencing. Of course with your family history you have to be concerned about the possibility of other factors. But since your pain is bilateral and is occurring only on your feet I would lean towards this being the result of your pregnancy. You should begin to see it subside over the next couple of months. If not, I would check with your doctor. Marc Mitnick DPM
I am a 29 yr old healthy female. I am currently training for a marathon. I take calcium and vitamin D. Today we did 12 miles, I wore new shoes that seemed fine for 8-9 miles, then I started having pain on the top of my left foot, I figured it might be the shoes, but it has been 9 hours since walk and it still hurts to walk, I have iced and taken ibuprofen. Its not a sharp unbearable pain but a pressure like pain that doesnt feel right at all. Im worried about possible stress fracture We have been training since February and started out doing 1 mile so I have gradually increased my mileage. I am a wogger , a walker and jogger.... Do you have any advice?
Hi, Yes, a stress fracture is certainly a possibility, but the only way you are going to know is to have an x-ray. Another possibility is tendonitis of the tendons that bring your toes upwards, especially if the pain is located right at the point where your sneaker was laced; this is a very common problem in individuals who lace their shoes too tight. If you do not have a stress fracture, then some heat to the area and anti-inflammatory medication may go a long way towards relieving your symptoms. Marc Mitnick DPM
I am having trouble with my left foot. I have had pain/problems with it for over 2 years now. The problem sits behind my big toe joint around the big toe metatarsal but it is not a pin pointed location-it is a sharp pain on the top of my foot and the top part of the side of my foot that comes with movement/walking/running etc. The size of the pain is about a half-dollar size.
I have not been running since November, the Doctor put me in boot for 2 months (which did not help) and I have had an MRI that shows sesmaoiditis (but that is not where the pain is???) Additionally, I had orthotics made which do help some.
I have no idea what is wrong with it and I want to be able to get started running again. But, the Doctor does not seem to know what is going on...
Megan, If the pain is on the top portion of your foot then you certainly are not suffering from sesamoiditis. Assuming I correctly understand where the pain is located, one of two things come to mind. Either a bone spur at the big toe joint or tendonitis of the muscle that allows you to bend the big toe upwards. Since the orthotics seem to help, ask your doctor to supplement that with anti-inflammatory medication and perhaps some physical therapy. Marc Mitnick DPM
My son is 17 years old. He plays football. When he cuts he has pain in his left foot. MRI and X rays show no fractures, however some bone spurs did show up. His foot hurts after running and while changing directions. During football season, he had his shoes taped on as part of taping his ankles. He first mentioned the pain in November 2007. On his left foot he has a knot or bump on top (under shoe laces). He wears Cowboy boots all the time which have a good arch support. If he does wear "tennis shoes" he laces them very loosely and has done this for long time even before he mentioned the pain. One doctor has mentioned surgery to scrape the bone to relieve the nerve. Is this common and what is involved in recovery? Would orthotics help? Took him to a chiropractor and he manipulated his foot. His observation was that the left foot is much stiffer than the right foot.
Read my section on midtarsal fault and see if that does not describe your son. You mention that he laces his tennis shoes very loosely which would lead me to believe that the spurs are very large and are putting pressure on the superficial nerve that runs between the spurs and the skin. For this reason I do not believe orthotics would help in this case. He could try a cortisone shot in the area which in best case scenario would give him relief but it would not be permanent. If he is a serious athlete then you might have to consider surgery whereby the bone spurs would be removed and an attempt would be made to remove the nerve from the surrounding scar tissue. It is not a terribly involved procedure and the success rate is quite high. Good luck. Marc Mitnick DPM
For the last three years I have pain on the top of both feet making it impossible to wear sneakers or any shoe that ties or goes over the tops of my feet. I was told it was arthritis, but that doesn't seem to make sense to me. I have had MRI's, flouroscopy with cortisone injections but nothing works. Do you think it could be caused by something else?
Hi Janet, More than likely it is arthritis particularly the formation of bone spurs on the top of the foot. When you lace your shoes your are putting too much pressure on the spurs and many times the superficial nerve that runs down your foot in that area gets pushed into the bone spur (by the laces) and causes pain. Read my section of midtarsal fault and see if that does not describe your situation. There are various treatments for the problem; you might have to see a different doctor. Marc Mitnick DPM
Thanks so much for your reply. I actually only gained 27 pounds during the pregnancy and was back to my prepregnancy weight within one week of giving birth. I am 5'8" tall and 135lbs. I will wait a couple of more months and see if this problem resolves. Thanks for the advice.
In May I had surgery for Plantar Fasciitis on my left foot and altho alot of people disagreed with me having the surgery including my doctor, I still stand by decision because I am pain free in the area that hurt to begin with. Last week I started experiencing pain on the top of my left foot. If I put pressure on the spot that hurts, squeeze my hand around my foot, stretch my foot in a downward position or twist my foot a certain way it shoots a pain up thru my leg and almost brings me to tears. There is no bruising, red spot and a little bit of swelling if I am on it too long but nothing to indicate that I hurt it. Sleeping is a big hassle as no matter which way I sleep it seems to agrivate it more. I work 10 1/2 hour days and I am up and down for those hours due to being a shipping/recieving clerk, is there anything that I can do to relieve the pain and get this to heal as taking time off to heal is not an option. Going to the foot doctor is an option but it's not covered by my insurance so that is my last resort. Thanks
Hi Suzee, You do not mention where on top of the left foot you are having pain, so I have no idea what is causing your pain, but I do have a few thoughts for you. One. You do not mention what type of surgery you had for your plantar fasciitis, but one of the complications of that type of surgery is a destabilization of lateral side of the foot usually from cutting too much of the plantar fascial ligament. Without examining you I have no idea if this is part of your problem or not, but I thought you should be aware of this potential complication. Two. If there was no trauma with onset of this new pain, then prior to going to a doctor, you might try immobilizing the foot by wrapping it with an ace bandage to better stabilize it when walking. Assuming you can tolerate it, I would suggest a 10-14 day regimen of either Aleve, advil or motrin taken according to the package insert on a regular basis for that time period. If your insurance will pay for physical therapy, that might be a good option as well. Marc Mitnick DPM
Breast Cancer Patient with side effects from Taxol Chemo...neuropathy (sp) in both feet...however this pain is on the top of my left pain...thus hindering me in walking. Extremely painful to touch....located midway between between ankle and toes.
Hi Sandy, See my section on midtarsal fault See a podiatrist, who will xray the foot and make the diagnosis. It is a readily treatable condition. Marc Mitnick DPM
I am a 41 yr old female and I've had this problem as long as I can remember... Ever since I was a child, when I would jump down off of something (from as low a height as a foot or so) I would have almost instantaneous burning pain all across the top of my feet for a few seconds after landing on my feet. I havent had any other foot problems, my arches are great (a bit high, actually) no bone spurs, bunions etc... I dont experience any pain while walking or when I'm on my feet for extended periods but if I hop down off something, the landing shock is always excruciating! It feels like the pain is just under the skin and it is a very sharp, burning blossoming pain all across the tops of both feet that lasts maybe 10-20 seconds before fading completely away as if nothing happened... until the next time I land! Any ideas what this could be?
Hi Cat, Your high arched feet are your problem. Most people with high arches are prone to have very poor shock absorbing capabilities in their feet. The reason for this is that high arched feet do not pronate and it is pronation that allows our feet to act as "shock absorbers" which is one of the many functions of our feet. When you jump and land on your feet, the shock that is created is not absorbed by your feet and probably is traveling all the way to your lower back where there is a jarring of the lower spine. This jarring irritates the nerves as they come out of the spinal column and you end up with the sensation that you get in your feet. It lasts for a short period of time and then disappears. The analogy can be made to shock absorbers in a car. Good shock aborbers give you a nice comfy ride, poor shock absorbers give you a hard bumpy ride. Two things you can do. Stop jumping off ledges and consider adding a shock absorbing type orthotic to your shoes. Good luck. Marc Mitnick DPM
I have severe pain in the top center of my left foot. The pain radiates to my big toe. I feel a bump there so I'm curious if it could be a bone spur although it doesn't feel hard enough to be bone.
My arches fell after a year off work walking around barefoot for the majority of the time and I had severe plantar fasciitis. I got a cortisone shot in the heel of my left foot and the pain in the heel went away miraculously.
Now though the pain in the top of my foot is twice as bad as the former heel pain. It keeps me up at night, the bed covers put too much pressure on it causing pain and if I press on it I could pass out.
I'm wondering if it could be midtarsal fault or a bone spur? I have an appointment with a rheumatologist so I'm hoping I'll get relief soon.
Hi Vee, A midtarsal fault would be my first thought. In addition I think you may have a nerve entrapment in the midtarsal fault and that is why the pain is radiating down to the toes. If the "bump" feels softer than bone there is also the possibility of a ganglion cyst. An orthotic and cortisone injection should go a long way to improving your symptoms. Marc Mitnick DPM
I pulled the blowdryer off the counter. It landed on top of my foot.OUCH!! A big blue/black knot appeared on the top of my foot at once, My foot was sore for a few days, after that all smptoms were gone. Then, a few days later and after being on my feet the last two days at work, and walking all day, the top of my foot is hurting and slight swelling and bruising has returned. I had no pain when walking until now.The pain is slight but achy on the top of my foot. Did I break a small bone on the top of my foot? Or did I just bruise the top? What should I do to make it better?
Hi Bette, The first thing you should do is have an x-ray which will tell you whether you broke or chipped a bone. Until you know that you cannot really treat the foot properly. If it is not broken, then some anti-inflammatory medication (assuming you can tolerate it) and application of heat should make the foot feel better. Marc Mitnick DPM
i was running to the phone and stumped my two toes on my left foot, every since then my foot has swollen up and hurts if i stay on it for a long time.
Hi Frances, It would not surprise me if you fractured one or both toes; you cannot tell my looking at them, go have them x-rayed and contrary to popular folklore, fractured toes have to be treated. Marc Mitnick DPM
I work in a hospital, on my feet all day,wearing the shoes I wear, my feet are ok. when I get home & pull my shoes off the top and sides of my left foot (never the right one) are killing me. I can't stand for that foot to be touched, it is extremely painful. my Dr. tried to blame it on my shoes, but they fit fine. my foot really hurts after going barefoot for a while even in the house. Ibuprofen nor aleve helps at all. the Dr. prescribed Lodine XL which does not help either. I have gained some weight lately while finishing school, and I have no other health problems.
Hi Anita, I will assume you are wearing some sort of "nurses shoes". Generally if the shoe is the culprit, you will have pain while you are wearing the shoes. The fact that you stand long hours, have gained some weight, and your feet do not hurt can be attributed to the shoes. Once you get home and remove the shoe, your foot is probably no longer supported, is collapsing and all the stress placed on the foot during the day is now manifest as pain. The best way to rule the shoes out as the source of the problem would be to wear a different pair of shoes to work, but my guess is it will not make a difference. If being on your feet this many hours a day is not permanent for you, then why not keep your shoes on when you get home until you go to bed? If you are training for some type of hospital career and being on your feet long hours is part of the job, then you will need further investigation into the problem. It does sound like a treatable problem. Marc Mitnick DPM
My symptoms sound very similar to what you described in the discussion on Midtarsal Fault pain. I am a 46 year-old white female. I had this same type pain happen to me about 6 years ago. The doctor was very vague, but described it as a "bundle of nerves" that had formed a tumor. He gave me a cortisone shot in the top of my foot, and it has been fine since - until about two weeks ago. The pain has returned (only worse than before). It does respond to Advil. It doesn't go away, but it isn't so severe that I can't walk. What puzzles me the most is the fact that it hurts WORSE first thing in the morning - even though I've been off it all night. It takes several hours (even with Advil) for the pain to ease to the point where I can walk without limping. I plan to see a doctor if it doesn't get better, but I was hoping it would go away on its own. As a side note, I began going to Curves 3-4 times a week about two months ago. I don't know if this is what has caused the pain to come back or not. I really need to exercise. Do you have any suggestions. Thanks.
Hi Vicky, Sounds like it could be a midtarsal fault but perhaps without the nerve irritation component, the reason being because it hurts when you first get up on it which is suggestive of arthritic pain(which is what a midtarsal fault actually is). The nerve pain component would occur from shoe pressure, like a shoe laced too tight and this pain would get worse as the day progresses which is not your case. It is quite possible your exercise regimen brought this pain about. Without examining you, either you need some sort of support in your shoes or you need a different type of athletic shoe, along with some local treatment of the pain. Your best bet would be to see a podiatrist. Marc Mitnick DPM
I have flat feet and have orthodics for the last 10yrs - got new ones last year. The pain on the top of my feet is greater now than the pain I used to have underneath. It sometimes looks bruised where the pain is. what could be causing this
Hi Linda, One of two things (and they are contradictory to each other) One, you may have a midtarsal fault and your orthotics are not supportive enough so it is exacerbating the problem, or two, the orthotics are too high and the top of your foot is pressing into the top of your shoe causing the bruising. Go see your doctor and tell he or she your problem; the orthotics may just need to be adjusted. Marc Mitnick DPM
I have had pain in my left foot for about 4 months. Last month I went to the podiatrist twice. He gave me a steroid dose pack and it did not help. I went back to the doctor 2 weeks later and he gave me an injection in my foot. The injection helped for 1 day. The doctor x-rayed my foot and ankle and said there was no physical sign in the x-rays that should be causing the pain. I still have pain every day. The pain causes me to walk with a limp and I do not know what to do about it. My pain first started about 1 inch above my toes but after taking the medication it seemed to move up toward my ankle. The pain now is in the middle of my ankle and at the top of my foot.
Hi, Obviously the situation has to be further investigated. If the x-ray was normal, but you still have pain, an MRI would be your next best option. Once you have a specific diagnosis, it is easier to resolve the problem. Marc Mitnick DPM
ongoing pain and tenderness on top side of R foot .
by Randy Steele
(North Richland hills,Tx,USA)
I have been experiencing extreme tenderness and pain (even bed sheets are to much touch)on the top of my right foot from just behind the toes to begining of leg for aprox 6 weeks. It is so sensative that even if I touch the hairs on the foot it can be painful. I am curently seeing a doctor with regard to knee problems but he does not relate this pain to the knee. I had a sciatic nerve incident 2 mo. ago and could not drive for 3,4 days. the only discomfort i experience now is this severe foot pain. I have taken Tylenol and Ibuprophen, Vicodin, Valium. Of course not all at once but over the time of this pain. Also used topical creams. I cant get a good nights sleep. Please help.
There is no redness. If Im on my feet vey long it can cause some inflamation to the area.
Hi Randy, I cannot give you a diagnosis but I will tell you that any hypersensitivity to the extreme that you are experiencing is probably of a neurological origin and since you had sciatica in the not too distant past it would not be a big stretch to think that your foot problem is related to the sciatica. Your best bet would be to consult with a neurologist to confirm the diagnosis and offer treatment. Marc Mitnick DPM
A month or so after starting water aerobics, the pain began. X- rays do not show any fracture but my podiatrist still thinks it is a stress fracture. I am 55 years old. I do not want to make it worse, but I love water aerobics. I thought water aerobics was supossed to be less stress on your feet. Is the problem caused by the jogging in 4 ft water or flutter licking in deep water? Is it possible that I just will not be able to do water aerobics?
Hi Mike, If your doctor thinks it is a stress fracture, have him order a bone scan (not all fractures show up in an x-ray). I would venture to guess that you have tendonitis of the tendons that bring the toes upwards which would make more sense for two reasons. One, in water aerobics you are not bearing any weight so how would you develop a stress fracture (unless it occurred elsewhere) and two, water aerobics require a lot of foot motion which is what will usually cause a condition like tendonitis. Marc Mitnick DPM
Comments for top foot pain behind toes and in front of ankle
on my left upper foot, between the baby toe and the heel I get a burning sensation, sometimes tingling, and sometimes feels like a joint sticks and makes it really hard to walk, I've been to a doctor and they really aren't sure, some days the pain is there but on a scale from 0 to 10, it is about a two, and then there are days, that it hurts so bad that I can not even walk being a 9 or 10, the pain has been going on for about one month now, hurts, please help
Hi, You mention that you have been to a doctor but you do not mention what kind of tests, if any, you have had. If the pain is as severe at you state, at times, then this needs to be further investigated. If your doctor is not showing any real interest, then seek another opinion. At this point certainly an x-ray or perhaps an MRI would be indicated. Once a diagnosis is made, proper treatment can begin. Marc Mitnick DPM