You can ease most foot pain with simple things yourself. If it doesn't go away, see a 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 frozen 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 or 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:
Symptoms 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
You might have other symptoms apart from pain and swelling. How you treat them depends on the cause.
|Main symptoms||Possible cause|
|Can't use foot properly, numbness, tingling, feels hot||heel pain|
|Swelling, bruising, feels tender, difficult to move||sprains and strains|
|Swollen, red, bruised, difficult to move||broken toe|
|Swelling, stiffness, foot is weak, grating or crackling feeling, a lump||tendon injury|
|Burning feeling, tingling, feels numb||metatarsalgia|
Your foot or toe might look different:
Read about oedema.
Read about chilblains.
Read about gout.
Read about bunions.
Fungal nail infection
Read about fungal nail infections.
Read about verrucas.
Corns and calluses
Read about corns and calluses.
Read about ingrown toenails.
Read about athlete's foot.
Page last reviewed: 07/11/2017
Next review due: 07/11/2020