Foot Pain Symptoms

Written By: Chloe Wilson BSc(Hons) Physiotherapy
Reviewed By: FPE Medical Review Board

Foot Pain Symptoms: We'll help you work out what is wrong and how best to treat your foot symptoms

Foot pain symptoms include anything from burning pain to swelling, instability to foot rashes.

It might be the top of the foot that's affected, the toes, the foot arch or even the calf.

By thinking about your foot pain symptoms, you can work out what is wrong and how best to treat it.

Foot symptoms may be an indication of a problem in the foot itself, a medical condition or a problem further up in the leg or in the lower back.

Here we look at a whole variety foot pain symptoms, what causes them, what they mean and how common they are. Then we'll look at the best ways to treat them.

Altered Sensation

Altered Sensation from Nerve Pain In The Foot: Common causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment options

Changes to the normal sensation in part or all of one or both feet

Causes: Most typically nerve damage - injury, wear and tear, abnormal growth, medical condition

Symptoms: tingling, pins and needles, numbness, hot/cold, hypersensitivity

Full Article: Altered Sensation & Nerves


Foot Blisters: Common symptoms, causes, diagnosis and treatment

Fluid-filled pockets the develop in the upper layers of the skin

Causes: Friction, tight footwear, infection, burns, chemical exposure or medical conditions

Symptoms: Painful bubble-like pockets filled with clear fluid, pus or blood. Vary in size and number

Full Article: Foot Blisters

Burning Foot Pain

Burning Foot Pain: Find out what causes it, how to treat it, and how to tell when it's something serious

Burning sensations usually indicate a nerve problem anywhere from lower back to the foot

Causes: Nerve squashed anywhere along it's path, reduced blood supply, inflammation or medical condition

Symptoms: Burning pain in one or both feet, may be accompanied by tingling, numbness or weakness

Full Article: Burning Foot Pain


Foot Pain Symptoms: Foot Cramps. Strong, involuntary muscle contractions. Causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention options

Strong, involuntary muscle spasms in the calf, toes or feet

Causes: Chemical or hormonal imbalance, fatigue, medical conditions, reduced circulation

Symptoms: Uncontrollable muscle tightening, sharp, intense pain

Full Article: Foot Cramp

Foot Rash

Foot Rashes: Are they serious or not? Find out everything you need to know

Rashes can cover a small or large area, affect one or both feet or spread up the leg

Causes: Allergic reaction, irritation, viral, bacterial or fungal infection

Symptoms: Red or white rash, blisters, dryness, inflammation, scaly patches, may or may not be itchy & painful

Full Article: Foot Rashes

Numbness In The Foot

Foot Pain Symptoms: Foot Numbness. Common causes, treatment options and how to tell if it's something serious

Sensory signals get blocked between the foot and the brain, reducing sensation in foot/feet

Causes: reduced blood supply, pressure on a nerve, medical conditions e.g. MS

Symptoms: Reduced sensation e.g. can't feel foot touch the ground when standing, can't detect hot or cold, tingling

Full Article: Foot Numbness

Running Foot Pain

Foot Pain From Running: Common causes and how to avoid it. Get those running shoes back on!

Runners may get foot and ankle pain during or after a run. It often gets progressively worse

Causes: Over-training, previous injury, flat feet, muscle imbalance or poor footwear

Symptoms: Pain, weakness, instability or swelling which gets progressively worse with activity

Full Article: Foot Pain When Running

Sharp Pain In Big Toe

Foot Pain Symptoms: Sharp Pain In Big Toe. Causes, diagnosis & treatment

Sharp stabbing pain in, on top of or under the big toe when sitting, walking or running

Causes: Overuse, hyperextension injury, sprinting, tight footwear, gout

Symptoms: sharp pain in and around big toe, inflammation, redness

Full Article: Sharp Pain In Big Toe

Swollen Feet & Ankles

Swollen Feet & Ankles: Common causes of foot swelling, treatment options and prevention tips

A build-up of fluid in one or both feet causes them to swell. May be localised or widespread

Causes: Injury, inflammation, medical condition e.g. gout, infection, heart problems, pregnancy

Symptoms: Sudden or gradual swelling, amount may fluctuate, pressure on foot may leave indentation

Full Article: Foot & Ankle Swelling

Thickened Toenails

Thick Toenails: Learn about common causes, symptoms and the best treatment options

Thickening of the toenails, usually starting at the edges and working inwards

Causes: Fungal infections, psoriasis, bacterial infection, aging, injury

Symptoms: Toenails gradually thicken, harden, become more brittle and prone to breakage and may discolour

Full Article: Thick Toenails

Yellow Toenails

Yellow Toenails: What causes them, and how to tell if it's something serious

Gradual yellowy discolouration of the toenails, often spreading from the edge inwards

Causes: Fungal infection, staining, medical conditions

Symptoms: Toenails gradually turn yellow and may also become thick & brittle, discomfort with any pressure

Full Article: Yellow Toenails

How Common Are They

Foot pain symptoms are a common problem with around 1 in 5 people suffering from foot pain at some point in their lives.

Ill-fitting footwear is often to blame but there are a number of serious medical conditions that affect the foot, so you should always get any foot pain symptoms checked out by your doctor.

Some foot pain symptoms are more common than others:

Very Common: Blisters, CrampRunning Foot PainSwelling 

Common: Altered SensationBurning Foot Pain, Sharp Pain Big ToeThickened Toenails

Rare: Foot RashNumbness, Yellow Toenails

How Do I Know What Is Wrong?

Many foot problems will have multiple symptoms so it can be hard to work out what is going on.

If you are still not sure what the underlying cause of your foot pain symptoms is, visit the foot pain diagnosis section where we will help you work out what is going on.

Treating Foot Pain Symptoms

The best treatment for foot pain symptoms will vary according to the underlying cause of the problem. If it's a simple case of your shoes being too tight or not fitting properly, then there's an obvious easy fix!

However, if there is an underlying medication condition or an infection, you may need to take medication to settle down your foot pain symptoms.

There are loads of different treatment options out there - visit the foot pain treatment section to find out more about how to beat your foot pain symptoms.

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Page Last Updated: 10/03/21
Next Review Due: 10/03/23