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Health and Fitness

What causes top of foot pain in runners?

Running isn't actually a pain free sport and as much as 75% of runners will get an injury every year. More frequently than not this overuse injury is not enough to prevent them exercising and they commonly just have to back off somewhat and make use of some minimal interventions to let it get better. Sometimes the exercise related injury is major enough that it forces the runner to give up on the running. There are numerous injuries that can affect runners, affecting numerous parts of the lower limb. Among the more frequent injuries is what has become called non-technically as “top of foot pain” or ToFP. Medically this is what's called dorsal interosseous compression syndrome. This is an overuse injury that causes pain on top of the foot, commonly about the top area of the arch of the foot. This generally happens in barefoot runners and also athletes who have a tendency to forefoot strike rather than heel strike first whenever they are running. Running this way will probably try and push the front foot upwards on the rearfoot resulting in the jamming of the bones of the dorsum of the foot, leading to the pain in that area.

To begin with this top of foot pain  is treated with ice to deal with the inflammation and perhaps anti-inflammatory medicines to settle it down. The majority of runners will have to scale back on their weekly mileage to also help settle it down. The easiest method to treat this is to work with more of a heel strike when running and make use of foot supports to keep the arch up so the jamming in the midfoot doesn't occur. Even though the alteration of running technique may perhaps be a good way to help this, it is not easy to undertake, and it is typically avoided at first to try and address the issue without doing that. If the other strategies fail to work, then a change in the running method is probably suggested.