ATLAS Health Tips
June 19, 2024

Pain on the Top of Your Foot: Possible Causes & Pain Relief Options

feet standing on toes wearing ballerina shoes showing top of foot

The top of the foot is an area that can be prone to pain, and the discomfort can be hard to deal with, whether it is a sharp, aching, or burning sensation.. In this blog, we will take an in-depth look at the possible causes of pain on the top of the foot and the pain relief options that can help alleviate the discomfort. We will explore common causes and rare conditions and provide tips on keeping your feet healthy and pain-free.

Common Causes of Pain on the Top of Your Foot

1. Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis is one of the most common causes of pain at the top of the foot. It is caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of the foot, connecting the heel bone to the toes. This condition can cause sharp, stabbing pains in the top of the foot, especially when standing or walking. 

2. Stress Fractures

Stress factures can occur when the feet are overused or subjected to repeated stress. This fracture is most common among athletes who engage in high-impact activities, but anyone can experience a stress fracture due to excessive walking or running. Pain on the top of the foot is a common symptom of a stress fracture and can be accompanied by swelling and tenderness.

3. Extensor Tendonitis

Extensor Tendonitis is a painful inflammation of the extensor tendons of the foot. These tendons are located on the top of the foot and help to extend the toes and joints of the foot. Extensor tendonitis can be caused by repetitive motions such as running or jumping, or a direct blow to the top of the foot can cause it. The pain associated with extensor tendonitis is usually a sharp, localized pain in the top of the foot that is aggravated by activities that require the foot to move.

4. Arthritis

This inflammatory condition affects the joints and can cause pain and swelling. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the two most common forms of arthritis and can both cause pain on the top of the foot. This can be accompanied by stiffness, swelling, and difficulty moving the joint.

What Can I Do To Relieve Pain on Top of The Foot?

When it comes to dealing with foot pain, the top of the foot is often one of the most sensitive areas. Thankfully, there are a few steps you can take to relieve the pain and get back to feeling your best. If you’re experiencing pain on the top of your foot, the first step is to identify the cause. In some cases, the pain may be due to a strain or sprain, which can be treated with ice and rest. If the cause is a corn or callus, you can apply an over-the-counter remedy such as a corn or callus remover to remove the hardened skin and reduce the discomfort.

If the cause is a more serious condition such as a fracture or tendonitis, it’s important to seek medical advice. Your doctor can provide you with a diagnosis and recommend the best course of treatment. Other strategies may also be helpful for relieving pain on the top of the foot. These include avoiding activities that cause pain, wearing properly fitting shoes and orthotics, stretching and strengthening exercises, and pain-relieving medications.

Finally, don't forget to look after your feet every day. Wearing supportive shoes, taking regular breaks while walking or standing, and moisturizing your feet regularly can all help to reduce discomfort and keep the tops of your feet healthy. By following these simple steps, you can help to relieve pain on the top of your foot and get back to enjoying life.

Final Thoughts

Pain on the top of the foot can be caused by various conditions, from common issues like Plantar Fasciitis to more severe conditions such as stress fractures and Arthritis. By identifying the cause of the pain and taking the appropriate steps to address it, you can reduce the discomfort and keep your feet healthy. Taking preventive measures such as wearing supportive shoes, taking regular breaks, stretching and strengthening exercises can also help to alleviate pain and reduce the risk of future injury. You can keep your feet feeling their best with the proper preventative and treatment measures.


1. Devereux, L. (2020). Common Causes of Pain on the Top of Your Foot. Retrieved from

2. American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS). (n.d.). Plantar Fasciitis. Retrieved from

3. American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS). (n.d.). Stress Fracture. Retrieved from

4. American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS). (n.d.). Extensor Tendonitis. Retrieved from

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