Some people suffer from pain on top of the foot that is quite uncomfortable and can be slightly annoying or highly incapacitating. For some people the pain might come and go whereas for others it's a constant problem. There are several causes for this kind of condition which range from slight irritations to severe health issues however it is mostly caused by irritation or injury due to mechanical or anatomical factors.
The causes and treatment for pain on top of the foot depends completely on the basic underlying issues. The doctor will probably check you for one of these underlying conditions: tendonitis, stress fractures, bone spurs, metatarsalgia, a sprain or cyst, nerve entrapment, diabetes, gout, phlebitis, an ingrown toenail, or arthritis. Other causes for pain on top of the foot can be aging, medication, pregnancy, hormonal imbalances, excessive walking or standing, and foot structure problems like fallen arches or hammertoe. Believe it or not, wearing ill-fitting or tight shoes or inappropriate lacing of sneakers can also lead to this condition, since both these situations can obstruct circulation creating pressure on the foot nerves.
Besides pain being the most common symptom, some people may even experience redness and swelling in their foot and that it is tender to touch. It may be difficult to walk or stand on that foot as the pain intensifies during any weight bearing activities. Since the causes and treatment for pain on the top of the foot are so diverse and because the pain in this body part is rather unusual, chronic or significant levels of discomfort indicate that medical advice must be sought.
On the first appearance of pain symptoms it's best to begin RICE treatment immediately (RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, elevation). Ice must be applied on the foot for about 5mins at a time with 1min rest to prevent skin damaging. Over the counter medicines like aspirin or Tylenol may provide relief from discomfort but must not be dependent upon in the long run. In case there is no sign of injury or trauma, gently stretching the feet may ease the stress caused by overuse. Also a reduction in the activities is required as well.
Apart from instant treatment of pain some steps need to be taken in the long run, including the use of foot orthotics which aligns the foot properly, provides arch support and equal weight distribution and reduces pressure on tissue and nerves. The kind of shoes being worn must also be adjusted well, because poorly fitting or tight footwear causes this kind of pain. Furthermore, it should not be necessary to tie the shoe laces tightly to keep it properly adjusted, and in case this is happening then the footwear needed to be modified.
Now, since there are plenty of aspects in the causes and treatment for pain on top of the foot, in case the pain levels persists even after the use of rest, RICE treatment, introduction of foot orthotics or change in footwear, then you must make sure to take an appointment with a podiatrist or a doctor. This kind of discomfort may be a sign of a more serious problem that must be addressed ASAP.