What can be done for pain on the top of the foot?

Running is not always a pain free exercise and up to 75% of runners may get an injury every year. More often that not this exercise related injury isn't enough to stop them running and they generally just need to back away somewhat and use some modest treatments to let it heal up. At times the exercise related injury is significant enough that it makes the runner to quit on the running. There are numerous injuries which could affect runners, affecting numerous parts of the lower limb. One of the most common injuries is what has become known non-technically as top of foot pain or ToFP. Medically this is called dorsal interosseous compression syndrome. This is an overuse injury which causes pain on top of the foot, typically about the highest area of the arch of the foot. This generally happens in barefoot runners and runners who usually tend to forefoot strike rather than heel strike first when they are running. Running in this way tends to try and drive the front foot upwards on the rearfoot resulting in the jamming of the bones of the top of the foot, causing the pain in that location.

To begin with this is treated with ice to handle the swelling and possibly anti-inflammatory drugs to settle it down. Most runners will need to reduce their weekly mileage also to help settle it down. The simplest way to treat this is to work with more of a heel strike when running and use foot orthotics to keep the arch up so the jamming in the midfoot doesn't occur. Even though the change in running technique may very well be an effective way to help this, it is not easy to perform, which is commonly avoided originally to try and take care of the problem without doing that. In the event the other approaches do not work for this top of foot pain, then a change in the running technique is almost certainly indicated.