Why Do the Tops of My Feet Hurt?
Do the tops of your feet hurt? Is this pain made worse with walking and exercise? You may have Dorsal Midfoot Compression Syndrome. Let’s take a look at it!
What is Dorsal Midfoot Compression Syndrome?
Dorsal Midfoot Compression Syndrome is a condition characterized by pain along the top of one or both feet. Pain generally worsens with weight-bearing activities and eases with rest. There is usually no history of trauma and pain tends to come on suddenly and gradually gets worse.
How is Dorsal Midfoot Compression Syndrome Diagnosed?
Dorsal Midfoot Compression Syndrome is usually diagnosed by taking a thorough history of the problem and then with a physical examination. There is usually tenderness along the top of the foot along the lines of the affected bones. Sometimes there may be swelling on top of the foot. An x-ray and/or ultrasound may also be useful in helping to rule out any other causes for your foot pain.
What Causes Dorsal Midfoot Compression Syndrome?
Dorsal Midfoot Compression Syndrome is caused by repetitive trauma to the midfoot joint surfaces. When we walk, we have different forces acting on the body. In dorsal midfoot compression syndrome, these forces act together to try and flatten the arches of the feet, causing compression in the bony surfaces on the top of the foot and strain through the structures that support your arch on the bottom of the foot.
What Factors Contribute to Dorsal Midfoot Compression Syndrome?
There are many factors that can contribute to the development of dorsal midfoot compression syndrome. These include your biomechanics- the way your body moves and the way you walk. Weakness in your internal support structures that resist the flattening of your arch may contribute to the development of Dorsal Midfoot Compression Syndrome. Shoes with a low heel, having a tight achilles tendon, and increased body weight may also contribute to the development of symptoms.
How is Dorsal Midfoot Compression Syndrome Treated?
Treatment for Dorsal Midfoot Compression Syndrome involves reducing the inflammation about the affected joints and reducing the mechanical factors leading to the compression of the foot joints.
Rolling your foot over a spikey massage ball or a tennis ball can help to reduce pain and stretch out the affected foot structures.
Anti-inflammatory gels or icing can help to reduce the inflammation and swelling in the area, providing pain relief.
Changes to Footwear
Avoiding really flat shoes will help to reduce your foot pain. Your podiatrist can talk to you about footwear and recommend shoes appropriate for your feet.
Your podiatrist can conduct a biomechanical assessment with you, whereby they watch the way you walk and move and determine what factors are influencing your foot pain. They can then tailor a management plan for you and give you the necessary information and treatment to help resolve your pain.
Your podiatrist can recommend appropriate offloading strategies including padding/taping, heel raises and/or custom foot orthoses to help reduce the mechanical forces leading to your foot pain.
Read more about custom foot orthoses here
Your podiatrist can give you a series of exercises to build up the strength in the structures that support your arch, therefore meaning your foot is able to better withstand the deforming forces leading to your foot pain.
Read more about Exercise Rehabilitation here
Walk Away From Foot Pain
The Podiatrists at Complete Podiatry are experts in lower limb mechanics. If you are experiencing foot pain, the first thing to do is book an appointment
Once this is done, we will develop a structured management plan that outlines our best advice to help you get back to doing the things you love.
Just call us, I'd love to talk to you about how we can help you build an amazing life from the feet up!
Podiatrist at Complete Podiatry