If you're experiencing pain, tenderness or unusual sensations on the top of your foot, the cause is probably a bone, tendon or nerve issue. Each part of your foot's anatomy shows its displeasure in its own way, and your podiatrist will treat each part differently depending on the cause or causes of your foot pain. This article will help you to identify whether the bone, tendon or nerve is the problem.
If you find that you feel intense, deep, stabbing pain when you walk, it may very well be due to a stress fracture of one of the bones of your feet. There will generally be swelling of the affected foot. You should be able to pinpoint the specific area where you feel the sharpest pain when pressing down over the bone that's broken. Treatment may involve immobilizing the foot, casting the foot or even performing foot surgery for a complex bone fracture.
Another bone problem is called dorsal compression syndrome. This happens when the bones of the foot collapse into each other too much when walking or running. It can be very painful and the pain increases with activity. Treatment for dorsal compression syndrome involves decreasing the compression of the foot. Using good arch supports and wearing quality shoes may help. Custom orthotic shoes may be ordered for more serious cases.
An inflammation or injury to the tendons may reveal itself by causing pain on the top of the foot. You may feel a generalized pain when you walk, move your foot up and down or when you point your toes. If there has been a tear or other injury to a tendon, the pain may be more localized over the spot where the injury is. In the case of tendinitis, there may be no swelling of the foot, although it does happen. An injury to a tendon may cause swelling over the area as well.
Placing ice over the affected foot should help reduce pain and swelling. Treatment normally involves resting the foot, gradually returning to full use. Stretching and massaging the foot before and after exercise can help. Orthotic shoes may sometimes be necessary while tendons heal.
You can suspect nerve problems, or neuropathy, if you experience numbness, tingling or burning sensations on the top of your foot. Diabetes is one of the leading causes of this problem. It can also be caused by vitamin deficiency, alcohol, genetics and trauma to the foot. Often, podiatrists are unable to find the exact cause.
Treatments vary depending on the cause and symptoms of your particular case. Controlling your diabetes can keep foot neuropathy in check. Some medications may help, and so will vitamin therapy if the cause is nutrition-related. Some types of neuropathy of the foot can't be completely cured, but can be managed with the proper medications, footwear, diet and exercise.
Consult a podiatrist like West Central Podiatry Consultants for any top-of-the-foot pain to rule out any serious diseases or infections. Foot doctors have access to the latest diagnostic and treatment tools to help you with any problems or pain you encounter with your feet.