What did I do to my foot?
March 23, 2010 6:55 PM   Subscribe

What is wrong with my foot that causes this pain???

Six months ago I took an extended trip to Europe. On this trip I walked for upwards of fourteen hours each day. Obviously my feet were sore, but the soreness in my right foot has not gone away. Specifically the top of my foot is just painful to the touch. If I try to extend my middle three toes, the pain is shooting over the top and just unbearable. I've looked online and can't find a description. I know you are not my doctor, but does this sound familiar to anyone at all?
posted by jefficator to Health & Fitness (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Tendons? Broken bones? Blister?

Could be anything, really. See a podiatrist.
posted by dfriedman at 6:56 PM on March 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

The best answer is going to come from a professional actually checking out your foot.

Depending on what footwear you're wearing now you may not be doing you any favors. When I somehow messed up my the top of my foot after doing a lot of hiking in Costa Rica, I found two weeks wearing only flip flops let my foot heal*. Even my most comfortable regular shoes would be painful.

*I worked in a pretty laid back office but flip flops were more laid back than the normal, but I explained the problem to my boss and he was cool with it.
posted by birdherder at 7:08 PM on March 23, 2010

IANYD, but it might be a Morton's neuroma.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 7:18 PM on March 23, 2010

I developed tendinitis after walking all over Chicago, during a vacation in which I also jumped up and down for three hours at a Gogol Bordello show. The tendinitis wouldn't go away; I ended up needing steroids and a walking boot for a few weeks.
posted by lunalaguna at 7:25 PM on March 23, 2010

Just as a contrast to birdherder: I injured the top of my foot while multiday backpacking wearing snowshoes a couple of winters ago. Wearing flip-flops later (it was late spring, so not too cold away from the mountains) only prevented the injury from healing. High dose ibuprofen to control the inflammation and loose sneakers let it heal much better.

But your case doesn't sound like that. Shooting, unbearable pain that sticks around for 6 months is nowhere near normal. Seriously: go see a doctor.
posted by thebabelfish at 7:49 PM on March 23, 2010

Perhaps you've tried it, but try Naproxen as directed for the max 2-3 days. See if it gets better. If not, go see a doctor.
posted by skepticallypleased at 8:37 PM on March 23, 2010

Yes, see a doctor. In my case there was an obvious cause for what turned out to be tendonitis: I'd taken a 'practice' walk (couple of hours, moderate hills) wearing new boots a week before a longer walking weekend; something about the way the tight laces pressed the stiff new leather down onto the top of my right foot 'caught' a tendon and caused it to get painful and inflamed. But the pain didn't stick around for six months, getting worse all the time.

On the other hand, it probably did stick around and get worse until I went to see a doctor (maybe a couple of weeks later?) and got told to take anti-inflammatories and rest the foot. Went away quickly after that, though.
posted by lapsangsouchong at 8:38 PM on March 23, 2010

Painful to touch? My guess is stress fracture.

Time for a trip to the doc.
posted by 26.2 at 10:33 PM on March 23, 2010

Just FYI to those who posted broken bones/fracture, fractures generally heal in 6-8 weeks.

This pain has been there for 6 months, so a broken bone does not explain it unless there is more to the story.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 11:57 PM on March 23, 2010

seconding Morton's, get thee to an orthopod!
posted by Wilder at 2:57 AM on March 24, 2010

Naproxen will help reduce the inflammation but if it recurs you ought to consider the possibility that it may be gout. It can be hard to diagnose, particularly when it isn't in the usual locations. Mine was diagnosed as metatarsalgia - which basically means "a pain in the middle of your foot".
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:28 AM on March 24, 2010

I was going to post the same diagnosis as Joe in Australia "metatarsal salgia". My doctor gave me that diagnosis after I did a bunch of jogging on a concrete path wearing cheap shoes. I did the Naproxen to reduce the inflammation, then I went to a running store where they watch you walk in bare feet so they can watch your gait (and they have a podiatrist working 2 days a week!!). They recommended the right shoes for me and I haven't had any problems since then.

This is just an anecdote; go to a doctor.
posted by CathyG at 8:26 AM on March 24, 2010

Sounds like a 'bone spur' that I had a few years back. Painful as the dickens, doc prescribed some muscle relaxants, and surprisingly, that took care of it almost immediately. He indicated at times, bad footwear or being on your feet too long, the muscle in your feet press against a mild case of bone spur, and muscle relaxant will relieve the pain. In worst cases, an operation is performed to remove the bone spur. (After 2 days of the pill, I was fine, and it hasnt returned)
posted by edman at 10:16 AM on March 24, 2010

The only way you are going to find out what's going on and get appropriate treatment is by seeing someone who knows what they're talking about and actually letting them look at your foot. Go to an md, if your general practitioner can't help you, get a prescription for a physical therapist. This is what they're there for. I am a PT, and there's no way I'd be able to tell what's going on with your foot without being able to look at it.
posted by jennyjenny at 9:02 PM on March 24, 2010

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