Your toes, feet, or ankles may burn, sting, hurt, feel tired, sore, stiff, numb, tingly, hot, or cold. You may have had a "charley horse" (muscle cramp) in your foot while lying in bed at night. Your feet or ankles may change colour or swell. You may have noticed an embarrassing odour from your feet. Some changes in your feet and ankles are normal as a person ages or during pregnancy. Home treatment is usually all that is needed to relieve your symptoms.
Toe, foot, or ankle problems may be caused by an injury. If you think an injury caused your problem, see the topic Toe, Foot, or Ankle Injuries. But there are many non-injury causes of toe, foot, or ankle problems.
Most skin problems that affect your feet are more annoying than they are serious. If you have:
Toe joints are more likely to develop problems than other joints in your feet.
You may develop pain in the front (ball) of your foot (metatarsalgia) or in your heel. Heel problems commonly occur when you overuse calf muscles, wear shoes with high heels, or participate in activities, such as running, that cause repeated pounding on your heels.
Many conditions may affect the nerves of the foot and cause numbness, tingling, and burning.
Use the Check Your Symptoms section to decide if and when you should see a doctor.
Most minor toe, foot, or ankle problems go away on their own. Home treatment is usually all that is needed to relieve your pain, swelling, and stiffness.
|Try a non-prescription medicine to help treat your pain:|
Talk to your child’s doctor before switching back and forth between doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen. When you switch between two medicines, there is a chance your child will get too much medicine.
|Be sure to follow these safety tips when you use a non-prescription medicine:|
Try home treatment for these other foot problems such as:
More specific home treatment is available in the Home Treatment section of topics related to diagnosed foot problems:
Use the Check Your Symptoms section to evaluate your symptoms if any of the following occur during home treatment:
The following tips may prevent toe, foot, or ankle problems.
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.
You can help your doctor diagnose and treat your condition by being prepared to answer the following questions:
|Primary Medical Reviewer||William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine|
|Last Revised||December 13, 2010|
Last Revised: April 13, 2012
This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.