Why Does The Top Of My Foot Hurt After Running

After a refreshing morning run, I couldn’t help but notice a sharp pain on the top of my foot. As someone who enjoys running regularly, this was definitely a cause for concern. So, I decided to dive deep into the possible reasons behind this discomfort and find some solutions to avoid it in the future.

The Anatomy of the Foot

To understand why the top of my foot was experiencing pain, it’s important to have a basic understanding of the foot’s anatomy. The foot is a complex structure composed of bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles that work together to support our body weight and provide mobility.

Stress Fractures

One possible reason for the pain on the top of my foot could be a stress fracture. Stress fractures occur when there is repeated stress on a bone, leading to a small crack or fracture. The repetitive impact of running can put stress on the bones in our feet, resulting in a stress fracture.

To prevent stress fractures, it’s important to gradually increase the intensity and duration of our runs, allowing our bones to adapt and become stronger. Wearing proper running shoes with good cushioning and support can also help minimize the risk of stress fractures.

Extensor Tendonitis

Another potential cause of the pain on the top of my foot could be extensor tendonitis. This occurs when the tendons responsible for lifting the foot become inflamed or irritated. It can be caused by overuse, improper footwear, or excessive tightness in the calf muscles.

To alleviate extensor tendonitis, it’s crucial to rest the affected foot and avoid activities that exacerbate the pain. Stretching exercises and calf muscle stretches can also help relieve tension and prevent further discomfort. Investing in proper running shoes with sufficient arch support can also provide relief and prevent future occurrences.

Morton’s Neuroma

Morton’s neuroma is a condition that involves the thickening of tissue around the nerves leading to the toes. It can cause pain and numbness on the top of the foot. This condition is often caused by excessive pressure or irritation on the nerves, which can be aggravated by activities like running.

To manage Morton’s neuroma, it’s important to wear shoes with a wide toe box to reduce pressure on the affected area. Orthotic inserts or arch supports can also provide relief by reducing stress on the nerves. In some cases, a doctor may recommend corticosteroid injections or surgery to alleviate symptoms.


Experiencing pain on the top of the foot after running can be frustrating and worrisome. However, by understanding the potential causes and taking proactive measures to prevent and manage these issues, we can continue to enjoy our runs pain-free. Remember to listen to your body, gradually increase your activity level, wear proper footwear, and seek medical attention if necessary. Happy running!