Top of Foot... Something

It's not pain, exactly, but it's not comfortable, either.  Sort of weak and twingy, about an inch above the base of the second toe on my right foot.  It feels this way both resting and walking, though walking in VFFs or barefoot makes it more noticeable.

Right now I'm thinking a long walk on pavement in the Treks was the cause, because walking in the Treks aggravates the feeling more than the other KSOs.

Any suggestions?  I don't want this to turn into the dreaded Top of the Foot Pain, but spending all of my day off my feet isn't practical, either.  I've been trying to wear my regular cushioned shoes instead, but that only quiets the sensation while I'm wearing them; as soon as I take them off, even if I don't put weight on the foot, there it is again. 

(I've been searching in the TOFP threads and online, but nothing seems to match this uncomfortable but not yet painful sensation.)


  • I give myself a lot of foot massages & that seems to keep pain away & minimize it when it shows up.  I manually flex my foot with my hands, working each toe individually, sort of like a rolling wave.
  • Have you been massaging/rolling your feet?  I have found that since I have not been doing this regularly that I am getting strange pains in my feet here and there.  Its probably like when I don't stretch/massage my legs and other parts of my body when I workout...I get tight in some spots.  I need to get back to that.  I was doing that at my desk at work and took my massage ball home with me to use when I was in lake placid for the week of Ironman and I haven't brought it back...and I am noticing a difference. 

  • 2 questions for you:
    1) do any shoes or socks that usually fit well now feel a little tight? Not really painful, but you kinda notice them and want to take them off?
    2) any change in how you feel wearing toe socks?
  • Mmm.  Massages.  That's a very good thought.  I've been thinking stretching for my legs might help too.

    No changes in how shoes feel that I've noticed, or toe socks.  Mostly I feel the twinge when doing something that causes the toes to flex or spread.

    I have learned that gently pressing on the spot with the heel of my other foot is soothing, weird as that is.
  • Rana -- when you massage (either foam roller or "the stick"...or rolling pin works too!) make sure you are also getting into the sides of your calves and not just the main parts at the back of your leg (gastroc and soleus).  the tibialis and other muscles (on the outside of your calf) are all tied into the foot and dorsi flexion (foot pointing up) and plantar flexion (foot pointing down).  When you say second toe -- is that the one next to the pinky or the big toe?
  • eek, i also get tofp sporatically... i'm no expert, but it could possibly be that you're straining your extensor tendon, which individually connects your toes to a larger tendon that runs up your lower leg. 

    if it was a sharp pain, i would be concerned about the dreaded stress fracture.

    anyhow, personally i like the rolling/massaging idea.  but i would also add that you might want to (a) stretch your feet by making a rolling/circular motion with your ankle, and (b) perhaps use normal padded running shoes for a little while. 

    i think that jimmy hart has some good foot strengthening exercises that might also help...
  • "Mostly I feel the twinge when doing something that causes the toes to flex or spread."

    a ha.  That's what I was getting at by asking about the toe socks.  Not to scare you, but discomfort with spread toes is the first thing I noticed before my tofp started.  This doesn't really sound like the typical progression for tofp though...

    have you tried either icing or heating the area?  Does either make it feel either better or worse?
  • I have had this problem too.  When I start to notice it happening, I just don't wear my VFFs for a day (terrifying I know).  But, if i wear my birkenstock sandals or other stiffer sandals, it gives my feet a break from all the movement but my toes are still free.  Don't have to do this so often anymore, but it usually helps to have just a day off VFFs.
  • Ha, I was actually just going to post this exact question on this forum somewhere.  This is what I was going to say:

    I've been running 1-2 times a week (2-3 miles) in my KSOs for about a month now, and last week I started to develop a localized pain in the upper right corner of my right foot. I occasionally feel a similar pain in my left foot, as well. The pain isn't so bad that I can't walk or run, and even though I'm taking this week off, I can still feel it tweaking now and then. Has anyone else experienced a similar pain when breaking in VFFs? I'm terrified I'm developing a stress fracture, but I don't want to stop running more than a week. Any input from anyone else would be appreciated. Thanks!!!

    Is that about what you experience? 
  • Heidi, yours sounds like more of the typical top of foot pain. A few threads about it (there are more):

    As you'll see, lots of us have gone through this and are happy to answer whatever we can, but start with a few old threads to see if they have any answers for you.
  • on 1282237142:

    When you say second toe -- is that the one next to the pinky or the big toe?

    The one by the big toe - the "index toe" I guess you'd call it!  Massaging the legs sounds like a good idea, too.
    Of course now I'm starting to notice a similar twinge in the other foot.  ARGH.

    Hot or cold doesn't seem to help or hurt either way... the only thing that's been helpful has been slight pressure around the area, so I guess massage should be my next step.

    I've also discovered that something that helps is wearing my Birkenstocks.  Strange.  Maybe it's the bumps in the sole?

    What's so annoying about all of this is that, as far as I can tell, I've been doing nothing different, and it's not like I'm running miles and miles - at most I'm walking a mile a day, if that.  :P
  • Sorry about it, Rana.  I'm kinda stumped.  The good news is that it's not really exhibiting the signs of tendonitis or stress fracture.
  • Well, that's good, anyway.  It'll probably turn out to be something weird like a muscle spasm in my thigh or something.  (My body has been known to do that kind of strangeness from time to time.)  I'm hoping the yoga I'm doing will fix it... and I'll definitely be adding some massage to my daily routine.
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