Why the Top of Your Foot Aches After Running

runner experiencing foot pain

You feel great when you jog, but upon returning home, you find the top of your foot aches after running. Runners deal with all types of injuries, so at first you may not worry about the pain, but if you don’t address the problem, it can develop into something that plagues you during your runs, too.

What causes the pain on top of your foot when walking and running, and how can you treat the discomfort? Several causes may lead to the issue.

Reasons for Top of Foot Pain While Running

Here are four possible causes of foot pain while running and some ideas for treating each one.

1. Arthritis

You can develop two types of arthritis that can lead to foot pain. The first, osteoarthritis, is more common with runners because it is an overuse injury. When you run, you cause the same mini-trauma to your joints over and over, and you can damage the cartilage in your joints.

By contrast, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that can impact other parts of your body as well. Your foot may feel tender or stiff and become swollen after a run. You could also lose flexibility in the foot.

You should see a doctor right away if you suspect arthritis so that you can determine a course of treatment. You will likely get X-rays and discuss physical therapy or medication.

2. Tendonitis

An inflamed tendon is another reason people tell us “the top of my foot hurts after running.” The pain occurs in the middle of the foot and closer to the instep, where your big toe is. Some people develop shin splints with tendonitis.

Take an anti-inflammatory and ice your foot before and after your run. You can also try toe grip exercises to relax the tendon, where you try to pick something up with your toes.

3. Metatarsal Stress Fracture

Runners are known for their intensity and all-out efforts. If you have been pushing yourself too hard on your runs, you can develop a stress fracture in one of your five metatarsal bones. It’s especially common among runners returning from another injury who are eager to regain their fitness and start back too fast.

Swelling at the top of your foot can be so severe you can’t even see your veins. To treat a stress fracture, you will need to take time off from running. You should also consult a doctor.

4. Vamp Disease

Vamp disease develops in runners whose shoes are too tight. The pain originates where the tongue of your shoe contacts the top of your foot. Vamp disease is the easiest runner problem to fix. Simply loosen your laces or get new running shoes, and make sure these fit properly.

If the bone on the top of your foot still hurts during running and none of these at-home remedies work, you may need the help of a professional. OrthoBethesda has helped many runners return to their routines pain-free after treatment. Get in touch and request an appointment today so we can evaluate your foot and get you back on the roads soon.