What Are the Treatments for Upper Foot Pain?


Upper foot pain is a common condition caused by excessive walking while wearing unsupportive shoes, an early symptom of arthritis, or the beginning of a bone spur, which if left untreated can limit your mobility and lead to intense pain while standing.

Shoe Inserts

Shoe inserts are helpful for rapid pain relief due to the gel or foam in the insert that cushions the foot from stress while walking or running. Shoe inserts are available at most drugstores and shoe stores.


Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help reduce pain and inflammation in the upper foot area when used shortly after pain occurs or right before engaging in strenuous physical activity. Do not use NSAIDs for more than seven days due to the possibility of liver and kidney damage, along with stomach bleeding and ulcer irritation. NSAIDs include aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen.


If your upper foot pain is caused by gout, a sharp, sudden pain caused by urate crystals around your joints, you can adjust your diet to lower the amount of uric acid in your body, which reduces the risk of gout symptoms. Avoid animal meats and vegetables that are high in protein, which includes asparagus, cauliflower, spinach, and broccoli.


Acetaminophens are a type of medication that reduces pain when used shortly after pain occurs. According to the Mayo Clinic, there is a chance of developing liver damage if you take more than directed or consume alcohol while taking the medication.

Heat or Cold Therapy

Apply a heating pad or cold compress onto your foot to reduce inflammation and pain. Do not apply pad directly to skin, as skin irritation or burns can occur. Therapy pads should be used for no more than 20 minutes at a time.

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