What is wrong with my left foot?
April 10, 2007 9:29 PM   Subscribe

Foot pain filter: TERRIBLE pain felt on top of left foot between the 4th and 5th toe, more inside.

I've ran 50 to 90 miles a week for the past 2 years with one 2 month break when I had hip issues. I ran a half marathon on March 17th and vowed to take off one month to recover because my heel has been hurting. Well, a week ago, the top of my foot has been hurting like no other!

Here are the details of the symptoms:
- If I put pressure on the left foot, such as from pushing off to ride my bike, it hurts for a few minutes.

- The 5th-3rd toes go numb later in the day. What the?

- It's swollen - my "lady friend" just told me and I just noticed it.

- My heel doesn't hurt anymore, if that helps.

Please help me identify this! NSAIDs don't help the pain and I don't have insurance for another month. I want to start running by the end of this month but I don't see this happening. My shoes don't feel narrow and I'm freaking out. Thank you!
posted by hammerthyme to Health & Fitness (11 answers total)
If there's swelling, ice may help.
posted by cerebus19 at 9:50 PM on April 10, 2007

I ice it every night and soak it in water/epsom salt every morning. It still hurts OUCH!
posted by hammerthyme at 9:52 PM on April 10, 2007

IANAD, but I would hazard a guess that you've damaged a tendon on the top of your foot, and that's what's causing the pain and swelling. The swelling, in turn, is probably compressing a nerve, which is causing the numbness.
posted by cerebus19 at 9:54 PM on April 10, 2007

Possibly broken, sorry to say.
posted by lubujackson at 10:22 PM on April 10, 2007

It's not bruised, is it? What's the pain like? In my experience, pain that goes in a straight line on your foot means it's broken. Have you tried bandaging it up for a while with an ace wrap?
posted by lilac girl at 10:43 PM on April 10, 2007

There's no way in heck we can diagnose this over the internet. We just can't. I'm sorry... anyway who claims they can is either Dr. Gregory House or has a good chance of being wrong.
posted by Justinian at 12:31 AM on April 11, 2007

IANAD, but I second the tendon. I got an inflamed tendon on the bottom of my foot from running 60 miles a week on worn down shoes, & got the same symptoms except for numbness. I went to a podiatrist who told me to wear well-cushioned shoes, never to walk barefoot (even around the house), & no hard impact for 3 months. It cleared itself up so I could walk normally again in about 2, & I was running again in ~ 4. NSAIDs didn't do much for me, either.. the kicker was that touching ANYTHING in the arch of my foot hurt like none other.

FWIW, I'm fairly sure the tendon in question was the posterior tibial tendon.
posted by devilsbrigade at 1:05 AM on April 11, 2007

It wouldn't hurt to get an x-ray. I have had tendon pain in that spot, but it was accompanied by the sense that my ring toe was about to bend backwards in an alarming fashion at any second. I've had broken bones in my feet and they felt more like you're describing.

See a doctor. You probably shouldn't be running and biking on it without proper support.
posted by Lyn Never at 6:38 AM on April 11, 2007

dollars to doughnuts it's a Morton's Neuroma. Stress fracture?
Sesamoiditis? A decent podiatrist can deal with all of these.
posted by docpops at 7:16 AM on April 11, 2007

I once had pain like what you've just described, after a fall that seemed unserious at the time. I wore an ace bandage, iced, etc. for a few weeks, then went to the doctor. I apparently had five broken bones in my foot. Had to wear a cast for three months. The doctor said my recovery would have been significantly shorter if I had gotten treatment sooner.

If at all in any way possible, see a doctor. If that's completely impossible, I'd recommend getting a set of crutches and putting absolutely no weight on it until you can see a doctor.
posted by decathecting at 12:30 PM on April 11, 2007

I had really sore feet on odd occasions. I couldn't figure out what was causing it - bad shoes? Sleeping funny? Overexertion? On one checkup my GP suggested I might have gout. It hadn't been diagnosed earlier because I'm younger than most people who get it, I only had it intermittantly, and it was in a funny place (the metatarsal, as opposed to the joints of the big toe). Check out the symptoms and consider if they apply to you.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:55 AM on April 12, 2007

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