Author: Chloe Wilson - BSc(Hons) Physiotherapy
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.
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.
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
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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:
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.
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.
Page Last Updated: 4/12/18
Next Review Due: 4/12/20
Go to Foot Pain Guide