Introduction

You can ease most foot pain with simple things yourself.  If it doesn't go away, see your GP.

How to ease foot pain and swelling.

Try these things for a week:

  • put as little weight as possible on the foot - if you can, avoid standing on it
  • put an ice pack (or a bag of forzen peas in a towel) on the foot for up to 20 minutes every 2 to 3 hours
  • wear comfortable shoes - for example, avoid shoes with heels
  • take paracetamol

If the skin on your foot looks flaky or blistered, see your pharmacist.  They can recommend a cream.

See a GP if:

  • the pain doesn't go away
  • the pain is very bad
  • your symptoms suddenly get much worse
  • you keep getting the same pain
  • you have a very high temperature or you feel hot and shivery
  • your groin feels tender and painful (swollen glands)  - this can be a sign of infection

A foot specialist can help with foot pain

Your GP might refer you to a foot specialist (podiatrist or chiropodist) to get help with your pain.

They should be able to tell you what's wrong with your foot and recommend things like creams and insoles.

You can also pay to see a podiatrist privately.

Go to A & E if you have signs of a broken ankle or leg after an injury

Symproms may include:

  • severe pain
  • feeling faint, dizzy or sick from the pain
  • hearing a crack or grinding noise during the injury
  • swelling and bruising
  • not being able to walk
  • your leg or ankle changing shape

Common causes of foot pain

Main symptoms - Can't use foot properly, munbness, tingling, feels hot
Possible cause - heel pain

Main symptoms - Swelling, bruising, feels tender, difficult to move
Possible cause - sprains and strains

Main symptoms - Swollen, red, bruised, diffficult to move
Possible cause - broken toe

Main symptoms - Swelling, stiffness, foot is weak, grating or cracking feeling, a lump
Possible cause - tendon injury

Main symptoms - Burning feeling, tingling, feels numb
Possible cause - metatarsalgia

Your foot or toe might look different:

Oedema
Symptoms:swelling, puffy skin, discoloured, feels hot and stiff
Read about Odema

Chilblains
Symptoms: swelling, red or dark blue in colour
Read abour chilblains

Gout
Symptoms: joint is so swollen, hot and tender that anything touching it hurts
Read about Gout

Hammer toes
Symptoms: burning, aching, tingling, numbness

Bunion
Symptoms: swelling, hard, callused and sore skin
Read about bunions

Fungal nail infection
Symptoms: discolouring, brittle nails, swelling
Read about fungal nail infections

Verruca
Symptoms: sharpp pain or bottom of the foot, like a needle
Read about verrucas

Corns and calluses
Symptoms: feel hard and rough, can look yellow
Read about corns and calluses

Ingrown toenail
Symptoms: swelling, sometimes bleeding and pus
Read about ingrown toenails

Athlete's foot
Symptoms: red, flaky skin, itching, sore, blisters
Read about athlete's foot

Call NHS Direct Wales

If you can't speak to your GP or don't know what to do next call NHS Direct Wales on 0845 46 47 or NHS 111 if available in your area.

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Selected links

NHS Direct Wales links

Heel pain

Sports injuries

External links

The College of Podiatry: common foot problems

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The information on this page has been adapted by NHS Wales from original content supplied by NHS Choices.
Last Updated: 08/10/2018 14:13:01