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

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: