Are your laces too tight?

Pain at the top of the foot is very common amongst sports people, especially those where running is involved. This can also travel up the leg and manifest as pain or burning in the shin. There are a number of reasons for this and some things you can do to help yourself.  These include:

1. Restriction of the nerves in the top of the foot

If the laces are pulled too tightly for a prolonged period of time the nerves at the top of the foot get pinched and so cause pain. Try pinching the end of your little finger, at the start you notice the pinch but it does not cause you pain. However, if you continue to hold the pinch over time your little finger will get very sore. And so it is with the tight laces.

This type of pain is exacerbated by running faster or with a greater stride length. To remedy the problem try adding a layer of cushion to the top of the foot. Cushioning pads can be purchased in a chemist and you cut the strip to suit the size required.  In addition, you should loosen the laces in all your shoes/boots until the foot is healed.

A burning sensation or pain rising up the shin may also be due to the laces being too tight. 

2.  Referred pain for the lower back

Although you may not be experiencing pain in the lower back you will feel top of the foot pain generally when running uphill if this is the source. Realignment of the spine a locating the source of the strain or pain in the lower back will help clear this pain. 

3.  Fractures, tendonitis or muscle strain

These are common overuse injuries and when appropriate can be remedied by ensuring the footwear has adequate support. A good sports shop will offer advice on the right trainer/boot for your pronation and length of use. 

If you're experiencing foot or shin then please don't hesitate to contact us for a FREE consultation with our pain specialist at our Belfast clinic in Northern Ireland.

Call us on 078 2433 7933 or email us at