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RE: how to tell the difference between a stress fracture and other kinds of foot pain...
i broke my 2nd metatarsal, left foot, about 4 years ago. What I remember most is that the pain was not really around the toe, but on the TOP of the foot itself. It was a bad pain that wouldn't go away, like muscle injuries sometimes do when you go out for a run. I remember coming back from runs, really really wincing at the pain.

from what you describe, I think this might be some bruising, rather than a fracture... try some gel inserts or something to give it a little cushioning. ice seemed to help too, if you can stand it.

good luck bro. stick to the soft stuff if you can.

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