Foot pain may be caused by injuries (sprains, strains, bruises, and fractures), diseases (diabetes, Hansen disease, and gout), viruses, fungi, and bacteria (plantar warts and athlete's foot), or even ingrown toenails. Pain and tenderness may be accompanied by joint looseness, swelling, weakness, discoloration, and loss of function. Minor foot pain can usually be treated with rest, ice, compression, and elevation and OTC medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Severe pain should be treated by a medical professional. Read more: Foot Pain Article
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Common Causes of Foot Pain
Learn about common causes of foot pain such as bunions, corns, athlete's foot, plantar warts and more. Get the latest information...
Gout Attack Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and Diet
Gout attacks (gouty arthritis) are caused by crystals of uric acid deposits. Learn about symptoms, causes, treatments and...
Burning or Swollen Feet? What Foot Pain Says About Your Health
Foot pain and heel pain can be serious health problems. Discover information about cold feet, itchy feet, burning feet and...
How Diabetes Can Affect Your Feet
Learn more about diabetes related foot problems. For people with diabetes, too much glucose in the blood can cause serious foot...
Worst Shoes for Your Foot Health and Beauty With Pictures
Stilettos, platforms or flip-flops...which are the worst shoes for your feet? See how some of the hottest styles can be torture...
What Does It Mean When Your Whole Body Aches?
Body aches are a symptom of the flu, arthritis, autoimmune disease, infections like Lyme disease, and other conditions. Body pain...
Ingrown Toenails: Infection, Causes, Prevention, Surgery
How are ingrown toenails removed? What about ingrown toenail infections? Get informed about the causes of ingrown nails, as well...
Feet Facts Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
Did you know that certain shoes and common diseases can wreak havoc on your feet? If you've been having problems with your feet,...
Picture of Ingrown Toenail
A common disorder that occurs when the edge of the toenail grows into the skin of the toe particularly on the big (great) toe....
Foot Health: Reasons You Feel Burning in Your Feet
The feeling of burning in your feet isn't just an annoyance. It might also be a sign of a more serious condition. Find out more...
Picture of Corns
A corn is a build-up of hard skin near a bony area of a toe or between toes. See a picture of Corns and learn more about the...
Picture of Blisters
Wearing shoes that do not fit properly or wearing shoes without socks can cause blisters, which can become infected. See a...
Picture of Foot Anatomy Detail
The end of the leg on which a person normally stands and walks. See a picture of Foot Anatomy Detail and learn more about the...
Picture of Foot
The end of the leg on which a person normally stands and walks. See a picture of Foot Anatomy and learn more about the health...
Picture of Bunion
A bunion is a localized painful swelling at the base of the big toe (the great toe). See a picture of Bunion and learn more about...
Picture of Corns and Calluses
Corns generally occur on the tops and sides of the toes. See a picture of Corns and Calluses and learn more about the health...
Related Disease Conditions
Buildup of uric acid crystals in a joint causes gouty arthritis. Symptoms and signs include joint pain, swelling, heat, and redness, typically of a single joint. Gout may be treated with diet and lifestyle changes, as well as medication.
A broken toe is one of the most common fractures among individuals. There are many causes of a broken toe, whether it is the big toe, middle toes, or little toe (pinky). Common symptoms and signs of a broken toe include pain, swelling, stiffness, and bruising. A broken toe can be treated with buddy taping the toe. There are instances where a doctor should be consulted for a broken toe.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints, the tissue around the joints, as well as other organs in the body. Because it can affect multiple other organs of the body, rheumatoid arthritis is referred to as a systemic illness and is sometimes called rheumatoid disease. The 16 characteristic early RA signs and symptoms include the following. Anemia Both sides of the body affected (symmetric) Depression Fatigue Fever Joint deformity Joint pain Joint redness Joint stiffness Joint swelling Joint tenderness Joint warmth Limping Loss of joint function Loss of joint range of motion Many joints affected (polyarthritis)
Warts (Common Warts)
Common warts are skin growths causes by the human papillomavirus. There are many types of warts, including plantar warts, common hand warts, warts under the nails, mosaic wars, and flat warts. Over-the-counter treatments typically involve the use of salicylic acid products.
A broken foot is a common injury. There are 26 bones in the foot, and these bones can be broken (fractured) in a variety of ways. Signs and symptoms of a broken bone in the foot are pain, swelling, redness, bruising, and limping because the person is not able to walk on the affected foot. You can tell if you have a broken foot by medical examination that includes imaging studies. The healing and recovery time for a broken bone in the foot depends upon the type of fracture and the bones broken.
Athlete's foot (tinea pedis) is a skin infection caused by the ringworm fungus. Symptoms include itching, burning, cracking, peeling, and bleeding feet. Treatment involves keeping the feet dry and clean, wearing shoes that can breathe, and using medicated powders to keep your feet dry.
Ankle Pain (Tendinitis)
Ankle pain is commonly due to a sprain or tendinitis. The severity of ankle sprains ranges from mild (which can resolve within 24 hours) to severe (which can require surgical repair). Tendinitis of the ankle can be caused by trauma or inflammation.
Peripheral Vascular Disease
Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) refers to diseases of the blood vessels (arteries and veins) located outside the heart and brain. While there are many causes of peripheral vascular disease, doctors commonly use the term peripheral vascular disease to refer to peripheral artery disease (peripheral arterial disease, PAD), a condition that develops when the arteries that supply blood to the internal organs, arms, and legs become completely or partially blocked as a result of atherosclerosis. Peripheral artery disease symptoms include intermittent leg pain while walking, leg pain at rest, numbness in the legs or feet, and poor wound healing in the legs or feet. Treatment for peripheral artery disease include lifestyle measures, medication, angioplasty, and surgery.
Leprosy (Hansen's disease) is a disfiguring disease caused by infection with Mycobacterium leprae bacteria. The disease is spread from person to person through nasal secretions or droplets. Symptoms and signs of leprosy include numbness, loss of temperature sensation, painless ulcers, eye damage, loss of digits, and facial disfigurement. Leprosy is treated with antibiotics and the dosage and length of time of administration depends upon which form of leprosy the patient has.
Lupus (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus or SLE)
Systemic lupus erythematosus is a condition characterized by chronic inflammation of body tissues caused by autoimmune disease. Lupus can cause disease of the skin, heart, lungs, kidneys, joints, and nervous system. When only the skin is involved, the condition is called discoid lupus. When internal organs are involved, the condition is called systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
Corns and calluses are sometimes painful areas of thickened skin that appear between the toes and fingers or on the soles of the feet. Abnormal foot anatomy, ill-fitting footwear, and unusual gait can put increased pressure in specific areas, causing corns and calluses. Treatment may involve using over-the-counter salicylic-acid products, visiting a podiatrist to be fitted with an orthotic device, or surgical removal.
Heel spurs -- pointed, bony outgrowths of the heel -- cause localized soft-tissue inflammation and can be located at the back of the heel or under the heel, or beneath the sole of the foot. Heel spurs are treated with ice application and anti-inflammatory medications. Orthotics may also provide some relief.
Ingrown Toenail (Onychocryptosis)
Ingrown toenails are caused by the growth of the toenail into the surrounding nail fold. Symptoms and signs include toe pain, swelling, redness, and yellow drainage. Treatment at home involves soaking the affected foot in diluted white vinegar or Epsom salts, elevating the foot, and trimming the nails straight across. Surgery is also an option for severe cases. Prevent ingrown toenails by wearing shoes with a wider toe box and avoiding repeated injury to the toenails. Avoid curving or cutting the nails short at the edges.
Bone spurs are pointy outgrowths of bone that develop in areas of inflammation or injury. They commonly occur on the heel and spine and may be the result of reactive arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, or diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis. Symptoms include pain, numbness, and tenderness. Treatment focuses on decreasing inflammation and avoiding re-injury.
A broken bone is a fracture. There are different types of fractures, such as: compressed, open, stress, greenstick, spiral, vertebral compression, compound, and comminuted. Symptoms of a broken bone include pain at the site of injury, swelling, and bruising around the area of injury. Treatment of a fracture depends on the type and location of the injury.
A bruise, or contusion, is caused when blood vessels are damaged or broken as the result of a blow to the skin. The raised area of a bump or bruise results from blood leaking from these injured blood vessels into the tissues as well as from the body's response to the injury. Treatments include applying an ice pack and pressure to the area by hand.
Sprains and Strains
An injury to a ligament is called a sprain, and an injury to muscle or tendon is called a strain. Sprains and strains may be caused by repetitive movements or a single stressful incident. Symptoms and signs include pain and swelling. Though treatment depends upon the extent and location of the injury, rest, ice, compression, and elevation are key elements of treatment.
The common bunion, an enlargement of the inner portion of the joint at the base of the big toe, primarily affects women. The signs and symptoms of bunions include inflammation, redness, tenderness, and pain of the first metatarsophalangeal joint. The little toe may also develop a bunion (tailor's bunion). Rest, walking shoes, stretching, cold packs, and anti-inflammatory medications may alleviate pain. Surgery is also a treatment option.
Diabetes and Foot Problems (Treatment)
Diabetes related foot problems can affect your health with two problems: diabetic neuropathy, where diabetes affects the nerves, and peripheral vascular disease, where diabetes affects the flow of blood. Common foot problems for people with diabetes include athlete's foot, fungal infection of nails, calluses, corns, blisters, bunions, dry skin, foot ulcers, hammertoes, ingrown toenails, and plantar warts.
A Morton's neuroma is an inflamed nerve between the bones at the ball of the foot. Symptoms include a burning, sharp pain on the bottom of the foot. Treatment involves resting the foot, wearing better-fitting shoes, ice packs, and cortisone injection.
Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs and Ulcers
Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are prescribed medications for the treatment of inflammatory conditions. Examples of NSAIDs include aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, and more. One common side effect of NSAIDs is peptic ulcer (ulcers of the esophagus, stomach, or duodenum). Side effects, drug interactions, warnings and precautions, and patient safety information should be reviewed prior to taking NSAIDs.
Turf toe is a sprain to the ligaments around the big toe joint. Symptoms and signs include pain, swelling, a popping sound, and limited range of motion. Treatment may involve taking ibuprofen, immobilizing with tape, cast, or a walking boot.
Flatfoot (Pes Planus)
Flatfoot is a disorder in which the foot's entire sole is touching the ground while standing. Symptoms and signs of flatfoot include heel, ankle, knee, hip, and lower back pain and shin splints. Treatment depends upon the type of flatfoot, the symptoms, and the stage of the disorder.
Fitness: Exercise for a Healthy Heart
Regular exercise can help reduce the risk of heart disease. To achieve maximum benefits, do a mix of stretching exercise, aerobic activity, and strengthening exercise. Aim to get 20 to 30 minutes of aerobic exercise at least three to four times a week. Consult a doctor before exercising for the first time, especially if you have health problems.
Shin splints result from inflammation from injury to the tendon and adjacent tissues in the front of the outer leg. Shin splints commonly occur in runners or aggressive walkers, causing pain and discomfort. An increase in workout intensity, weak ankles and pronation may be to blame for shin splints. Stretching, strengthening, and icing the affected area are effective treatments for shin splints. Rest and anti-inflammatory medications are also advised.
Regular physical activity can reduce the risk of disease. Regular exercise can also reduce the symptoms of stress and anxiety. There are fitness programs that fit any age or lifestyle.
Local ResourcesFind a local Orthopedic Surgeon in your town
Treatment & Diagnosis
Medications & Supplements
- Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
- Oxycodone vs. Tramadol for Pain
- ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Nuprin)
- Acetaminophen vs. Ibuprofen for Pain (Differences in Side Effects and Dosage)
- acetaminophen (Tylenol, Tylenol Arthritis Pain, Tylenol Ext, Little Fevers Children's Fever/Pain)
- tramadol (Ultram)
- Ibuprofen vs. Meloxicam (Mobic) for Pain
- naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox, Naprelan, Naprosyn)
- codeine (for Pain)
- Pain Medications (Narcotics)
- Oxycodone vs. Hydrocodone
- Ibuprofen (Advil) vs. Naproxen (Aleve): Comparison of Differences
- Oxycodone vs. Codeine
- Oxycodone for Pain (OxyContin, Roxicodone, Oxecta, Oxaydo, Xtampza ER, Roxybond)
- cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril, Amrix, Fexmid)
- Oxycodone vs. Vicodin (hydrocodone/acetaminophen) for Pain
- Ketorolac vs. ibuprofen (Advil)
- Aspirin vs. NSAIDs (Side Effect and Use Differences)
- Aleve (naproxen) vs. Celebrex (celecoxib)
- Over-the-Counter Products
- hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
- Percocet vs. Lortab
- Tramadol (Ultram) Side Effects
- Ketorolac vs. diclofenac
- salsalate, Amigesic, Salflex, Argesic-SA, Marthritic, Salsitab, Artha-G
- Tylenol (acetaminophen) Side Effects, Warnings, and Interactions
- hydrocodone (Zohydro ER)
- Ketorolac vs. naproxen (Aleve)
- fenoprofen (Nalfon)
- Ultram (tramadol) Side Effects, Warnings, and Interactions
- choline magnesium salicylate, Trilisate
Prevention & Wellness
- Health Tip: Preventing Athlete's Foot
- Turf Toe Injuries Fell Multiple NFL Players, Athletes
- How to Keep Your Feet on a Sound, Pain-Free Footing
- Health Tip: Preventing Flat Feet
- Health Tip: Treating a Bunion
- Keeping Your Summer Fun on Sound Footing
- Health Tip: Treating Calluses at Home
- Health Tip: Prevent Heel Pain
- Smart Steps for Healthy Feet
- Physical Therapy Can Help You Avoid Opioids When Joint Pain Strikes
- How to Avoid Suitcase Strain This Holiday Season
- Jump Into Plyometrics -- the Exercises to Power Muscles
- Health Tip: Treating Plantar Warts
- 1 in 12 Americans Lives With Debilitating Chronic Pain
- 'Fish Pedicure' Caused One Woman's Toenails to Stop Growing
- Pack the Right Footwear for Summer Vacations
- Health Tip: Relieve Your Blister, Corn or Callus
- Foot Fungus on the Run But Race Has a Long Way to Go
- Are Pricey Orthotic Insoles Worth It for Heel Pain?
- Health Tip: Prevent Warts on Your Feet
- Health Tip: When Arthritis Strikes Your Feet
- Health Tip: Prepare for Your First Podiatrist Visit
- Health Tip: Holiday Foot-Care Advice
- The Right Shoes Can Help Prevent Falls
- Health Tip: Preventing Diabetic Foot Sores
- Flip-flops: Fun in the Sun, but Tough on Feet
- Health Tip: Avoid Tight Shoes
- Health Tip: Sandals May Cause Foot Problems
- Health Tip: Dealing With Foot Arthritis
- Health Tip: Think You Fractured Your Foot?
- Health Tip: Recognize a Foot Neuroma
- Health Tip: Choose the Right Shoe for a Hammer Toe
- Health Tip: Make Sure Kids' Shoes Fit Well
- Cold-Weather Foot Care Key for Diabetics
- Cushioned Shoe Inserts Won't Guard Against Injury: Review
- Winter Shoes Can Boost Bunion Pain
- Health Tip: Help Prevent Corns and Calluses
- Health Tip: Choose the Right Shoes
- Health Tip: Easing Bunions
- Expert Offers Advice on Treating Corns, Calluses
- Health Tip: Considering Shoe Inserts
- Health Tip: Prevent Heel Pain
- Health Tip: Shoe Inserts May Help Pain
- Start Your Hike on the Right Foot With Proper Footwear
- Health Tip: Coping With a Bump on the Back of the Heel
- Health Tip: Common Causes of Foot Arthritis
- Health Tip: Boost Balance With the Right Shoes
- Health Tip: Shopping for Athletic Shoes
- Health Tip: Selecting Shoe Inserts
- Health Tip: Battling Bunion Pain
- Health Tip: When Feet Sweat
- Health Tip: Pain in the Foot?
- Health Tip: Take Care of Your Feet
- Scientists Erase, Then Restore Memories in Rats
- Health Tip: Understanding Corns and Calluses
- Health Tip: Keeping Seniors on Their Feet
- Health Tip: Choose a Sturdy Pair of Flip-Flops
- Health Tip: Cold Feet?
- Health Tip: When Tendinitis Affects Your Feet
- Your Feet Aren't So Evolved After All, Study Reveals
- Health Tip: Fit Your Teen's Feet
- Health Tip: Recognizing Plantar Fasciitis
- Flip-Flops May Put You on Path to Foot Trouble
- Health Tip: Understanding Heel Pain
- Pregnancy Boosts Size of Women's Feet, Study Finds
- Health Tip: Manage Bunion Pain
- Health Tip: How Your Feet Age
- Health Tip: Before You See a Podiatrist
- Health Tip: Feet That Hurt
- Health Tip: Protect Your Feet From Fungus
- Health Tip: Shoes Too Tight?
- Health Tip: What to do About Corns and Calluses
- Health Tip: Wearing Flip Flops
- Health Tip: Do You Have Plantar Fasciitis?
- Health Tip: Symptoms of Foot Arthritis
- Solving the Medical Mystery of Cold Feet
- Happy Feet: Plastic Surgery for Best Foot Forward
- Health Tip: Buying Shoes for Your Child
- Health Tip: Protect Your Feet
- Health Tip: Be Safe During a Pedicure
- Flip-Flops: Your Arch Enemy?
- Health Tip: Help Prevent Warts on the Feet
- Health Tip: Help Your Feet Beat Summer's Heat
- Health Tip: Easing Heel Pain
- Barefoot Running Can Be Great, but Tread Carefully
- Health Tip: Managing a Hammertoe
- Health Tip: Stress Fracture of the Foot
- Health Tip: Help Prevent Foot and Ankle Injuries
- Health Tip: Is That Bump a Bunion?
- Health Tip: The Causes of Corns
- Health Tip: What Triggers Ingrown Toenails?
- Health Tip: Help Prevent Heel Problems
- High Heels Can Bring on Ingrown Toenails
- Health Tip: Warning Signs of Foot Arthritis
- New Therapy Might Help Relieve Painful Foot Condition
- Wrong Shoes Make Gout Pain Worse
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