Foot Dorsum Painaccording to TCM

Symptom family: Feet Issues

Did you mean? Foot Dorsum Swelling

What is Foot Dorsum Pain?

Foot dorsum pain is characterized by discomfort or ache on the top part of the foot. This symptom can arise from various conditions, such as stress fractures, extensor tendonitis, or nerve compression. The complexity of the foot's anatomy, with its intricate network of bones, tendons, and muscles, all converging on the dorsum, makes it susceptible to injury and pain, significantly impacting one's gait and quality of life.

How does TCM view Foot Dorsum Pain?

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), foot dorsum pain is often seen as a manifestation of underlying imbalances within the body's meridian system, the pathways through which Qi (vital energy) flows. TCM practitioners typically assess this condition by examining disruptions in the flow of Qi and Blood to the affected area, often attributing such pain to factors like Dampness, stagnation, or the invasion of External Wind. The fundamental treatment approach seeks to restore harmony and proper energy flow, thus alleviating pain.

Acupoints for Foot Dorsum Pain

TCM suggests several acupoints on the foot dorsum that could be therapeutic for those experiencing pain. Chongyang ST-42, positioned between the tendons on the foot's high point, is believed to invigorate the Stomach and Spleen, essential organs in TCM for muscle nourishment and Qi production. Stimulation of this point is said to not only alleviate local pain but also to harmonize digestive functions, thereby addressing systemic imbalances.

Another notable point, Xiangu ST-43, found in the depression between the metatarsal bones, is utilized for its potential to regulate Stomach and Intestine functions and manage fluid balance, thus reducing edema that might contribute to dorsum pain.

The set of points known as Bafeng EX-LE-10 are also recommended, particularly for their heat-clearing properties, which can be beneficial if inflammation is a pain contributor. Similarly, Xiaxi GB-43 on the Gall Bladder Channel is noted for its ability to quell Liver Yang and expel Damp-Heat, providing a more targeted treatment to reduce swelling and pain on the foot's dorsum. These points are typically selected and stimulated in a TCM treatment plan tailored to the individual's specific pattern of disharmony.

Explore below some acupoints used to address foot dorsum pain, organized by meridian.

  • By Meridian
  • Stomach Channel
  • Extra Points: Lower Extremities (EX-LE)
  • Gall Bladder Channel
Chongyang ST-42

Chongyang ST-42

Distal to Jiexi ST-41, at the highest point of the dorsum of foot, between the tendons of the extensor hallucis longus and the extensor digitorum longus, directly lateral to the point where the dorsalis pedis artery may be palpated. The point is bordered proximally by the 2nd and 3rd metatarsal bones and distally by the 2nd and 3rd cuneiform bones.

Xiangu ST-43

Xiangu ST-43

On the dorsum of the foot, in the depression between the 2nd and 3rd metatarsal bones, at the level of the junction of the shafts and the heads of these metatarsal bones.

Bafeng EX-LE-10

Bafeng EX-LE-10

This is a group of 8 points, all located on the foot dorsum, slightly proximal to the margins of the interdigital webs. Xingjian LIV-2, Neiting ST-44 and Xiabai GB-43 are part of the Bafeng EX-LE-10 points. Xingjian LIV-2 is between the 1st and 2nd toes, on the dorsum of the foot, 0.5 cun proximal to the margin of the web. Neiting ST-44 is between the 2nd and 3rd toes, while Xiaxi GB-43 is between the 4th and 5th toes.

Xiaxi GB-43

Xiaxi GB-43

Between the 4th and 5th toes, proximal to the margin of the interdigital web.