Symptom: Foot pain

    Your foot is an intricate network of bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles. Strong enough to bear your body weight, your foot can be prone to injury and pain.

    Foot pain can affect any part of your foot, from your toes to your Achilles tendon at the back of your heel.

    Although mild foot pain often responds well to home treatments, it can take time to resolve. Severe foot pain should be evaluated by your doctor, especially if it follows an injury.

    Foot pain

    Injury, overuse, or conditions causing inflammation involving any of the bones, ligaments or tendons in the foot can cause foot pain. Arthritis is a common cause of foot pain. Injury to the nerves of the feet may result in intense burning pain, numbness or tingling (peripheral neuropathy).

    Some common causes of foot pain include:

    1. Achilles tendinitis
    2. Achilles tendon rupture
    3. Avulsion fracture: How is it treated?
    4. Bone spurs
    5. Broken ankle/broken foot
    6. Broken toe
    7. Bunions
    8. Bursitis
    9. Complex regional pain syndrome
    10. Corns and calluses
    11. Diabetic neuropathy
    12. Flatfeet
    13. Gout
    14. Hammertoe and mallet toe
    15. High heels or poorly fitting shoes
    16. Ingrown toenails
    17. Metatarsalgia
    18. Morton's neuroma
    19. Osteoarthritis
    20. Osteomyelitis
    21. Paget's disease of bone
    22. Peripheral neuropathy
    23. Plantar fasciitis
    24. Plantar warts
    25. Rheumatoid arthritis
    26. Septic arthritis
    27. Stress fractures
    28. Tarsal tunnel syndrome
    29. Tendinitis
    30. Tumors

    Causes shown here are commonly associated with this symptom. Work with your doctor or other health care professional for an accurate diagnosis.


    Even relatively mild foot pain can be quite debilitating, at least at first. It is usually safe to try simple home remedies for a while.

    Seek immediate medical attention if you:

    • Have severe pain or swelling
    • Have an open wound or a wound that is oozing pus
    • Have signs of infection, such as redness, warmth and tenderness in the affected area or you have a fever over 100 F (37.8 C)
    • Are unable to walk or put weight on your foot
    • Have diabetes and have any wound that isn't healing or is deep, red, swollen or warm to the touch.

    Schedule an office visit if you:

    • Have persistent swelling that doesn't improve at all after two to five days of home treatment
    • Have persistent pain that doesn't improve after several weeks
    • Have burning pain, numbness or tingling, particularly involving most or all of the bottom of your foot

    If your foot pain is due to an injury or overuse, it will often respond well to rest and cold therapy. Avoid activities that may aggravate your foot pain, and put ice on your foot for 15 to 20 minutes several times a day. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications will also help with pain and may help with healing.

    Even with the best of care, you may have some foot stiffness or pain, particularly first thing in the morning or after you've been active, for several weeks. If you are unsure of the cause of your foot pain, or if it is widespread or involving both feet, and particularly if you have diabetes, see your doctor before trying home remedies.


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