Pain On The Top Of Your Foot
Generally, pain on the top of the foot is an inflammation of the tendons that straighten the toes, which run along the top of the foot and are called extensor tendons. Thus, the clinical name for this injury is extensor tendonitis.
Extensor tendonitis is most often caused by lacing your shoes too tightly or having an ill-fitting shoe, in which case the lace creates a pressure point along the top of the foot. Swelling can often occur and it’s very likely you see a large bump or nodule somewhere on the tendon itself.
As with black toenails, extensor tendonitis can be extremely painful as the tendon will rub against the shoe with almost every step. Luckily, despite the presence of a nodule and swelling, this “injury” is not very serious.
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Treatment And Prevention
The most effective treatment is to change your shoe lacing pattern and loosen your laces slightly, especially while you’re bothered by the pain. Arthur Lydiard developed a lacing pattern called ladder lacing, which reduces pressure on the top of the foot by not allowing the laces to cross over the middle of the metatarsals. Click here for detailed instructions on how to lace your shoes this way.
You can also ice the top of your foot frequently to reduce the inflammation. Once the tendon is no longer inflamed or tender to the touch, you’ll be relatively pain-free.
This is as an “injury” that you can run through if the pain is not impacting your gait. If you do find running in shoes to be too painful, even after switching up your lacing, you can try running barefoot in the grass. Just be sure not to overdo it if your feet aren’t accustomed to barefoot running. You don’t want to develop a more serious injury.