At We-Fix-U Foot Health and Physiotherapy Clinic Bowmanville, many patients ask us, “What’s causing the pain on top of my foot?” Such pain can be sharp, burning, or aching, making everyday activities challenging.

Let’s go over the most common culprits of pain across the top of your foot and how you can identify them.

Hammer, Claw, and Mallet Toe

Toes are essential to your foot as they provide balance and help you walk properly. When the muscles in your toes become unbalanced, your toes may curl under or point outwards, causing hammer, claw, and mallet toe. Common causes of these conditions include ill-fitting shoes, bunions, and arthritis.

Any pain on top of your foot near the toes is a common symptom of this condition. Wearing shoes that are too tight can make the pain worse.

Stress Fractures

A stress fracture is a tiny crack in the bone that stems from repetitive stress or impact. This type of injury is most common in athletes who participate in high-impact sports, such as running or basketball.

The pain from a stress fracture is usually dull and achy. It typically gets worse with activity and improves with rest. If the pain is severe, you may have difficulty walking or putting weight on your foot.

Gout Foot

Gout is a type of arthritis due to excessive uric acid buildup. Uric acid is a normally harmless waste product, but when it accumulates, it can form crystals in the joints and cause pain and inflammation.

Gout can create a sharp, burning pain on top of your foot. The pain is usually worse at night.

Other forms of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis, can cause similar symptoms. Fortunately, the right treatments can help alleviate the symptoms and restore your range of motion.

Sinus Tarsi Syndrome

Sinus tarsi syndrome (STS) is a condition that affects the sinus tarsi, a small container of fluid in the ankle that allows the talus (ankle bone) to rotate and glide smoothly. STS often stems from overpronation, an inward rolling of the foot during walking or running.

The pain resulting from this condition is typically sharp and stabbing. If the pain on top of your foot feels like a bruise, STS may be to blame.


Tendonitis is the inflammation of a tendon, the tissue that connects muscle to bone. The tendons in your feet constantly move whenever you do, which can make them susceptible to injury.

If you feel pain on top of your foot when walking, it’s likely tendonitis. The pain may be dull or sharp and is usually worse with activity.

Consult With a Professional Today

Knowing what’s causing the pain on top of your foot is the first step in finding relief. If you’re experiencing this symptom, get in touch with our Physiotherapy experts in Oshawa, Peterborough, Bowmanville, Cobourg, and Port Hope. We’ll help you identify the source of your pain and develop a treatment plan to get you back on your feet.

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