pain on top of foot when walking

What Causes Pain On Top Of Foot When Walking?

Are you experiencing foot pain when walking? The pain could be a result of some injury or a symptom of a disease. Here, we will look at some major foot conditions that may cause pain in your foot when walking.

Shoes have a great contribution in causing any kind of painful foot as shoes that are too tight, too loose, and not well manufactured can lead to improper foot movement.

People, sometimes, wear shoes that fit well with the latest fashion instead of paying attention to the function. Shoes with narrow toes or stilettos should be avoided though it seems to be the hardest part for most women.

Several other issues can cause serious pain or injuries to the foot due to several health problems. It is not recommended to self-cure when there is serious pain in the foot. The help of professionals is strongly advised.

Causes of pain on top of foot when walking

1. Sprains


Sprains can happen when there is excessive stretching on a ligament beyond its recovery capacity. There might be no permanent damage though it is painful.

It often happens when there is a sudden frequency increase in human physical activity or intensity. Or there are some traumas like ankle rolling over.

Sprains usually occur on ankles and wrists and they mostly take place when the foot is not placed on the ground correctly. Read more on what to do when you sprain your ankle.

2. Gout

It is the sort of condition which can develop when uric acid is building up within the human body. Gout forms ‘crystals’ in the big toe joint. It can deliver a discomfort feeling like arthritis which will turn out to cause inflammation.

Gout is mostly found on the big toe though other toes will be affected later on. Its symptoms are mostly similar to the symptoms linked with bunions in which common people are mostly hard to diagnose well, whether it is gout or bunions.

3. Verruca

Known well as plantar wart which develops on the foot bottom, it is not a serious problem. Yet, it can cause discomfort, especially when one is doing some activities that involve weight-bearing requiring pumping pressure. It can give pressure on the foot’s tender tissue growth.

Verruca is seen as skin’s raised circles with thick surfaces. Yet, the small black circles which are dotted on the growth are blood vessels.

There are many available options for any kind of painful foot though it requires patience. The treatment itself does not guarantee that there will be another wart that can occur again in time to come. The treatment’s main goal is for removing warts without causing any damage to surrounding tissues.

Treatments for Verruca

Good treatment will not leave a scar as well. Several topical treatments can deliver irritation on the skin as well as skin tenderness around the wart. Among the most common treatments include

• Duct tape
• Treatments by topical chemical
• Salicylic acid.
• Warts removal through surgery procedures

Among those treatments, salicylic acid is the most popular one as it is available in the form of plasters, gels, and creams and they are sold freely over the counter. Based on recent research, there are 90% of painful foot problems can be resolved by salicylic acid treatments.

Verruca is also one of several problems which need serious treatments using salicylic acid. The good thing is that such kind of treatment can ruin surrounding tissues. It means, there should be strong caution to apply the product.

Salicylic acid will be more effective when a person soaks the painful foot area with lukewarm water while using a pumice stone in removing the build-up of excessive tissue. Significantly, others do not utilize the same tool as you because they can develop their warts likewise.

After the process is accomplished, it is recommended in following the guidance on the package.

Applying the ointment is the next thing to do though one should use protection like gloves when they apply it.

When to Visit a Doctor

Visiting a doctor is recommended when one experiences a strong reaction to treatment. Besides, when there is no better result after about three months, it is better to find help from professionals.

It should be noted that avoiding the mucous membranes area or face is a must thing to do when applying salicylic acid. Yet, this treatment should be under the doctor’s supervision, especially for those who suffer from diabetes, peripheral vascular disorder, and poor circulation. This is because they can suffer from complications like tissue and nerve damage permanently.

4. Bunions

Bunions are known as protrusion of bones that performs at the toe base. They are a common circumstance that affects women compared to men. It starts from the big toe that starts leaning toward the other toes which will cause the first metatarsal bone tip in becoming visible.

Such a condition is mostly very painful and it results in hard walking. Bunion sufferers have various kinds of treatments like orthotics devices, painkillers, and other footwear modifications. Surgical procedures may not be recommended when the condition is not too serious.

Surgery does not guarantee satisfying results and there will be some complication risks like the foot’s subsequent sub-par functioning as well as infection. Get more treatment options for bunions.

5. Ingrowing Toenail

It can take place when the nail edges grow into the soft tissues surrounding it. It can pierce the skin and it can be very painful because of the redness and swollen skin. When it is not treated properly, there will be an infection.

Get detailed information on how to fix ingrown toenails.

6. Excessive Feet Strain

Another kind of irritation and pain that is developed in the ball of the foot is commonly caused by Metatarsalgia. It is an uncomfortable circumstance with several causes. Many people say that foot pain may range from mild to strong and it can cause uncomfortable feelings.

The symptoms may get worse when they do some activities that involve weight-bearing. It commonly strikes some toes at the base, though in particular the whole toes can get affected.

The pain mostly develops in the ball of the foot because of too much pressure. One may suffer from pain when one likes to wear high heels, is pregnant or too much overweight or dealing with sports too actively, or even when one wears too-tight shoes. Older age people can also suffer from such conditions and they are even prone to such conditions.

7. Plantar Fasciitis

It developed at the time there is irritation or inflammation of a thick tendon running from toe to heel. Heel pain is one of the most common symptoms. Plantar fasciitis has several causes, though it is mostly caused by the so-called bio-mechanical issue which is mostly found in runners.

Most cases of heel pain causes can be the damage result of plantar tissues. It mostly occurs the tissue that surrounds the heel bone is inflamed and irritated at the same time. Heel pain is very common as it brings high discomfort stages when there is pressure on the affected area as a person is walking, running, or even standing.

The pain will be very intense in the morning, particularly when plantar fasciitis is the main factor. It goes along with several few steps at the beginning of the day but it will fade gradually afterward. Yet, the pain can occur intensely again at the end of the day.

Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis

Though there are so many treatment options, the process of treatment can be very complicated. In some cases, the curing process can be up to a year and a person can go on with prevention methods afterward. Preventing pain in the heel can cover several methods as stated below:

Calf muscles regular stretching, focusing on the lower limbs
• Using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in the short term only
• Using corticosteroid injections only when the pain is too severe
• Wearing properly fitting shoes with proper cushioning and support
• Wearing sport-specific shoes during any physical activities
• Using orthotic devices

As many people can go on well with this kind of treatment, only 10% of patients still feel long-term pain. It can be solved through surgical procedures.

8. Nerve Damage

Usually, there will be strong pain when the toes’ nerves are compressed or injured. It can cause cramps as well. The pain commonly being stronger when a person is walking and removing his shoes can bring better relief. Such a condition is called Morton’s neuroma.

It usually strikes only certain toes like the third and fourth toes. However, a feet-related problem that is caused by nerves is also usually when a person is frequently wearing high heels or when one has flat feet.

9. Achilles Tendonitis

It is an irritated Achilles tendon that is at the back of the ankle. It can lead to severe inflammation of several certain tissues which is often referred to as tendonitis.

10. Arthritis

As foot pain strikes old age people, it can be due to osteoarthritis. Such cases are experienced by people in the United Kingdom who suffer from this common arthritis. This disorder can cause swelling of joint tissues as well as the ones in the heel joint and big toe.

Some foot pain cases will be regarded as rheumatoid arthritis. It can occur rarely because it is very painful. This can be an attack on the body’s immune system so there will be strong pain and inflammation throughout the body. The affected area can be painful and stiff when such a condition occurs. Painkillers or cold therapy can be the best alternative.

11. Stress Fracture

It is a condition when there is a small crack in one of the foot bones. Those who suffer from this are people who participate in sports with high-impact aspects or repetitive ones like running, ballet, and basketball. Stress fractures can attack the lower leg exterior bone, upper mid-foot bone, heel bone, and metatarsal bones.

There will be swollen and severe pain after the impact and the affected area will be very irritating. So, it is somewhat ordinary to see a developed bruise in the affected area where there is a fracture.

When one suspects that there is a fracture has occurred in his foot, he should stop all activities and stop putting too much weight on his foot. Help from medical experts is a must.

12. Edema

It is a condition when there are fluids that build up in the body tissues. They contain mainly water and they will not cause any pain when there is a routine. Usually, there will be swelling and heavy feeling in the affected during the edema.

It can strike the whole area of the lower leg, instead of merely the feet. A person should have medical treatment as soon as possible, especially when the swelling and pain do not indicate diminishing.

13. Wound from Puncture

The pain in the foot can be caused by the foot tissues puncturing. In several cases, a foreign object can turn out to be embedded and have to be eliminated.

So, anyone who might have stepped upon any sharp object should make throughout inspection of the feet for better initial prevention.

Fast Treatment Options

Some people may have found out that Metatarsalgia cases are easy to get self-treatment. They include:

• Using a compression bandage that has elastic characteristics for preventing swelling

• Raising the inflamed foot above the stage of the heart as it is also beneficial in reducing swelling and eliminating pain significantly

• Having a rest is very important, because most people may be prone to having too much exercise. A person can use a cane or crutches when the affected foot is not able to support the body weight.

• Applying ice to the ball of the foot. It is better to do it for fifteen minutes at one time, as one can let the skin warm during sessions. One can use the frozen vegetable bag as an alternative to the usual ice pack.

This kind of therapy can be applied for more than two days time period. Afterward, the compression can be removed. When there is no progress, it is urged to find medical help.

Other Treatment Alternatives

• Using orthotic devices for foot support. This device can also optimize foot biomechanics function and deliver cushions to the affected areas. The device will deal out body weight regularly on the whole foot area.
• Wearing flat shoes that have supports on the foot with a good well-structured design
• Using shock-absorbing insoles for more cushioning and protection for convenient standing or walking.
• Using NSAIDs for reducing pain and inflammation though one cannot expect to correct the basic problem
Exercising some regions on the legs like the ankle and foot gently. Afterward, stretch the back of the ankle tendon for better treatment.


The foot has many bones and many nerves. It’s impossible to clearly diagnose the main cause of foot pain when walking before visiting your doctor. The fastest way to soothe the pain is by soaking your foot in warm water. If the pain persists, please visit your doctor.