What can cause pain on the top of the arch of the foot?

Running is not always a pain free exercise and up to 75% of athletes can get an overuse injury each year. More frequently that not that overuse injury isn't enough to prevent them exercising and they typically only have to back off a little and use some modest treatments to let it heal up. Occasionally the overuse injury is significant enough that this makes the runner to discontinue on the running. There are several injuries that can happen to athletes, impacting numerous areas of the lower limb. Among the more prevalent 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 exercise related injury that produces pain on top of the foot, usually about the top point of the arch of the foot. This generally happens in barefoot runners and runners who are more likely to forefoot strike rather than heel strike first when they are running. Running this way tends to try and drive the front foot upwards on the rearfoot bringing about the jamming of the bones of the top of the foot, producing the pain in that place.

At first this is managed with ice to handle the swelling and possibly anti-inflammatory medications to settle it down. Nearly all runners will have to cut back on their weekly distances run to also help settle it down. A sensible way to handle this is to work with more of a heel strike when running and make use of foot supports to maintain the rearfoot up so the jamming in the midfoot does not occur. Even though the change in running method could very well be an effective way to help this, it is not easy to try and do, and it is often avoided originally to try and treat the issue without doing that. When the other methods do not work, then a change in the running method is probably advised.

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