Foot pain

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Foot pain

You can ease most foot pain with simple things yourself. If it doesn't go away, see a health care professional.

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.


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Foot pain not getting better?

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.


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Emergency Treatment Needed

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.
  • Source NHS UK


FOOT PAIN CONDITIONS

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Common causes

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 and Possible cause

  • Can't use foot properly, numbness, tingling, feels hot heel pain

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More causes

  • 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
  • Source NHS UK

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Emergency Treatment For Achilles Tendon

Go to a minor injuries unit or A&E if you have:

  • severe pain after an injury
  • your foot is a funny shape
  • a snap, grinding or popping noise at the time of injury
  • difficulty moving your ankle or foot

These could be signs of a broken bone or ruptured Achilles tendon.

Find a minor injuries unit

Foot pain videos

 A quick guide to the 3 most common causes of foot pain.

Outer foot pain

Lateral foot pain causes and relief.

Fact Sheets

Plantar Fasciitis (pdf)

Download

Icing Instructions (pdf)

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