Running is a great way to burn calories and lose weight, but it often places a lot of pressure on your feet. This could lead to intermittent sharp pain on top of the foot.
If the pain only comes while running, it is unlikely that you may be suffering from some of the more serious causes of foot pain, like fractures. You may still want to consider any of the following causes.
WHAT CAUSES SHARP PAIN ON TOP OF FOOT?
It could be your tendons or nerves that are inflamed.
You have a tendon that runs from your leg to your foot.
If the pain is located somewhere close to the middle of the foot, this tendon could be the culprit.
This paper also attributes it too weak muscles.
Sometimes the problem could be due to a bone stress fracture resulting from making drastic changes in your workout regimen.
Alternatively, the sort of shoes you wear or a sudden twist on foot could be the cause.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO HEAL PAIN ON TOP OF FOOT?
This depends on the nature of the pain. Most times, when you eliminate the source of the pain, you could start to feel relief as soon as a few days after doing so.
However, the pain may fully subside after a month.
10 WAYS TO RELIEVE TOP OF FOOT PAIN WHILE RUNNING
1. ICE IT
Ice is often a good remedy for inflammation. When the pain is associated with an inflamed part of your body, ice can cause some temporary relief.
You may, however, want to seek other solutions for the cause of the inflammation.
2. PACE YOURSELF
If you have top of foot pain while running, your body could be telling you that it is doing too much, too soon.
Have you been on a break then gotten back to training recently?
Did you engage in intense running or training after the long break?
Are you running much faster than you normally would?
If your answer is yes to any of these questions, then you may be causing yourself top of foot pain after running. Your body needs time to adjust to new training regimens.
Therefore, don’t go from inactivity to full-on activity in short periods of time. Adjust running speed and intensity gradually so that you don’t put excess strain on your body.
3. TAKE AN ANTI-INFLAMMATORY
There are lots of over-the-counter anti-inflammation solutions. You know them from the images on the package.
These products often contain pictures of people with red hot body parts. They often allude to inflammation as part of the brand name.
A common way of using it is by applying it directly on top of the foot. That way, it gets to work immediately and causes fast relief.
According to this study, topical solutions manage pain easily.
4. TRY FOOT EXERCISES AND MASSAGE
If you have challenges with your tendon, you may want to do a toe-grip exercise so that you can experience less top of foot pain while running.
Focusing on the toe can take pressure away from the inflamed part of the toe.
Alternatively, you can flex your foot by moving it up and down towards the front part of your leg.
Consider giving yourself a message on the part of the foot that feels painful. Some tools like foam rollers can also help relax those tight foot muscles.
5. CHANGE YOUR SHOES
Top of foot pain while running may be a mechanical problem rather than a biological or physiological one.
If you feel pain right around the place where your shoes’ tongue is, then these shoes could be a poor fit. Go for better fitting shoes that are not tight or don’t have sharp edges near the laces.
6. USE HEAT
It may seem counterintuitive to use ice for inflammation and then use heat, but this has proven health effects.
The idea is to balance the use of heat and cold in a process called contrast therapy.
First, start with ice to tame the inflammation, then when it reduces, use heat therapy.
According to this study, heat therapy is useful in promoting circulation, thus bringing nutrients and blood to the tissues that need them. Keep watching for any additional swelling so that you don’t make matters worse through heat application.
7. TRY COMPRESSION
If you are using cold therapy or ice for the top of foot pain while running, you may want to take it a step further by compression.
This works by taking a bandage and wrapping it around the ice pack or source of cold that you are using. That should make the cold penetrate deeper and work more effectively.
8. AVOID INCLINE OR HILL RUNNING
Outside of foot pain while running could sometimes come from your preferred style of running. Running on hills or inclines places a lot of stress on certain tendons.
If you do it persistently, you may affect the tendons on the top of your foot and experience pain.
It may not be practical for you to eliminate incline running. However, you may have to consider minimizing it so that you can give your feet a break.
When on the treadmill, you may have to seek alternative ways of challenging yourself, such as faster running. Alternate between flat surface and incline running or make sure that the incline is not too steep.
9. SEE A MEDICAL DOCTOR
Sometimes at-home remedies can only do so much. You are basically self-diagnosing when you attempt any of the above interventions.
It can be helpful to try these simple solutions first. However, if there is no improvement, you need to seek medical advice.
Persistent top of foot pain while running could also be caused by other more serious conditions like arthritis. You need to find out if this is the case.
10. TAKE A BREAK
If you have a stress fracture caused by stepping onto a pothole accidentally or twisting your foot, you may need a break. Stress fractures are usually diagnosed by a specialist and are usually treated there.
The top of foot pain while running should subside after trying any of the recommended medical remedies. However, if the pain persists and you know it came from twisting or an awkward motion, then you may need to let your feet rest.
It could take close to 6 weeks for a stress fracture to subside. Therefore, take some time off to enjoy other things that do not involve your feet.
If you are a fitness enthusiast, you may consider lifting weights as this will still challenge your body but will not be as physically demanding on your feet as running is.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Top foot pain while running could be a sign of ill-fitting shoes, an inflamed nerve or tendon, poor running choices, or a twist.
To relieve this kind of pain, you may want to use cold therapy or ice, contrast it with heat therapy and anti-inflammatory, pace yourself or reduce incline running and go for better-fitting shoes.
Intermittent sharp pain on the top of your foot need not be an obstacle in your fitness journey with these home remedies. However, if symptoms persist, seek medical advice.[related_posts_by_tax posts_per_page="4"]