When to see a doctor

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Even mild foot pain can be troubling, 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, especially after an injury.
  • 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 the 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 swelling that doesn't improve after 2 to 5 days of home treatment.
  • Have pain that doesn't improve after several weeks.
  • Have burning pain, numbness or tingling, particularly if it involves most or all of the bottom of the foot.


Foot pain caused by an injury or overuse will often respond well to rest and cold therapy.

  • Don't do any activity that makes the pain worse.
  • Put ice on your foot for 15 to 20 minutes several times a day.
  • Take pain medicines you can get without a prescription. Medicines such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve) can ease pain and aid healing.
  • Consider using a foot brace you can get without a prescription to support your foot.

Even with the best of care, the foot might be stiff or hurt for several weeks. This is most likely to be first thing in the morning or after activity.

If you don't know the cause of your foot pain or if the pain is in both feet, see a health care provider before trying home remedies. This is especially true for those with diabetes.

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April 05, 2023