What is foot pain?

Foot Pain
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Foot pain in children: Overview

Foot injuries that cause pain and swelling are fairly common. Many activities that children do, including most types of sports, can cause a misstep that ends up as foot pain.

Most minor foot injuries will heal on their own, and home treatment is usually all you need to do. If your child has a severe injury, your child may need tests and treatment.

How can you care for yourself when you have foot pain?

  • Rest and protect your foot. Take a break from any activity that may cause pain.
  • Put ice or a cold pack on your foot for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Put a thin cloth between the ice and your skin.
  • Prop up the sore foot on a pillow when you ice it or anytime you sit or lie down during the next 3 days. Try to keep it above the level of your heart. This will help reduce swelling.
  • Your doctor may recommend that you wrap your foot with an elastic bandage. Keep your foot wrapped for as long as your doctor advises.
  • Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
    • If you are not taking a prescription pain medicine, ask your doctor if you can take an over-the-counter medicine.
    • If the doctor gave you a prescription medicine for pain, take it as prescribed.
    • Store your prescription pain medicines where no one else can get to them. When you are done using them, dispose of them quickly and safely. Your local pharmacy or hospital may have a drop-off site.
  • If your doctor recommends crutches, use them as directed.
  • Wear roomy footwear.
  • As soon as pain and swelling end, begin gentle exercises of your foot. Your doctor can tell you which exercises will help.

Foot pain in children: When to call

Call 911 anytime you think your child may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • Your child's foot turns pale, white, blue, or cold.

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • Your child cannot move or stand on a foot.
  • Your child's foot looks twisted or out of its normal position.
  • Your child's foot is not stable when your child steps down.
  • Your child has signs of infection, such as:
    • Increased pain, swelling, warmth, or redness.
    • Red streaks leading from the sore area.
    • Pus draining from a place on the foot.
    • A fever.
  • Your child's foot is numb or tingly.

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • Your child does not get better as expected.
  • Your child has bruises from an injury that last longer than 2 weeks.

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The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.