Top of Foot Pain

by admin on January 20, 2012

Looking around the barefoot running forums, a common problem that comes up is TOFP (top of foot pain). It appears to be a common injury that barefoot runners get and is probably more common in those making the transition to barefoot or minimalist running. There are a number of different things that can cause TOFP ranging from tendonitis to ganglions to stress fractures. What appears to be the most common causing is a jamming of the bones o the top of the foot that occurs more in forefoot striking versus rearfoot striking.  Interestingly, the suggested management of top of foot pain is to go back to shoes and rearfoot strike. After that, there needs to be a gradual return to barefoot to allow the bones to adapt to the load. I have also seen advice for TOFP that in some people the forces are so high that they may have to resort to orthotics, rearfoot striking and using running shoes. I guess that just means there is no standard advice for this and each runners top of foot pain needs to be evaluated on its own merits.

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