A sharp, burning pain on the top of the foot is a common reason people see a podiatrist. This pain can be very excruciating and affect them every day. Before visiting your podiatrist, take a minute to think about the characteristics of your pain. Where is the pain, does it come from your toe or ankle? Do you feel the pain only after running or playing sports? Is the pain most extreme in the morning, or after a long day on your feet? These are all important questions you will be asked, as your podiatrist seeks to determine the pain’s source.
Pain on the top of the foot during or after activity may be due to a stress fracture. A stress fracture is otherwise known as an overuse injury. It is a small crack in the bone, typically experienced by runners or people suddenly increasing their activity levels. Many bones in the foot are prone to stress fractures but treatments are generally the same. A few weeks rest and proper shoe gear heal these fractures most of the time.
If you are having pain on the top of the foot during regular activities, it may be caused by arthritis. Arthritis is generally experienced in older individuals after years of walking or running. The best treatments include anti-inflammatory treatments, proper shoes, and orthotic inserts to help support the foot. Since arthritis involves changes to the bone structure, surgery may be needed to correct this pain.
Children and adolescents experiencing pain on the top of their foot may have a condition called a Tarsal Coalition. Tarsal refers to the bones in the rear and mid part of the foot while coalition means coming together or union of two bones. The symptoms typically begin between the age of ten and fourteen with children complaining of pain, fatigue, muscle spasms, muscle cramps, and decreased motion in the foot. Often, the symptoms begin suddenly one day and do not stop. A podiatrist is specially trained to treat this condition and can offer anti-inflammatory treatments, orthotics, or surgery to help restore normal function of the foot.