What Could a Swollen Foot Mean?

When Swollen Foot Pain is Considered Serious

When it comes to the feet, a person could experience any number of problems. For instance, an individual might have discomfort or pain from simple things such as corns, calluses, and blisters but other times, there is something more serious involved. Obviously, the feet play an important role so keeping them healthy is essential. With the list of possible problems being quite extensive, it would be helpful if a person knew when swollen foot pain was just a temporary annoyance or something potentially serious.

We first wanted to talk about some of the more serious things that could cause a person to experience swollen foot pain. Keep in mind that sometimes in-home treatment consisting of rest, ice compressions, and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication would provide relief but if a foot were to swell up and become painful for longer than three days or if the individual started running a fever or noticed something unusual, it would be essential to seek medical attention.


Fracture in Foot

It would seem that someone with a fractured bone would know but in reality, there are times when an individual might not be aware of a fracture. For instance, a person with a mild break or a high pain tolerance might not even think of this as being a possibility. However, even a stress fracture, which is a small crack in a bone, can be very painful and produce swelling. While anyone could develop a fracture of this type, it is something more commonly seen in athletes due to repetitive motion or overuse.

Allergy to Medication

While surprising, there are actually several types of prescription medications that can cause a person’s foot to swell and become painful. Prime examples include medication for high blood pressure, antidepressants, steroids, high-estrogen oral contraceptives, and calcium channel blockers. Therefore, if a person had recently been prescribed these or another type of medication followed by having swollen foot pain, it would be imperative to notify the doctor.

Venous Insufficiency

Another potential cause is the presence of varicose veins, formally called Venous Insufficiency. When this type of vein first develops a person might not have pain or swelling but in time as the veins become larger and more intrusive, extreme pain and swelling would be expected. If not diagnosed and properly treated, varicose veins can be debilitating but also reduce blood flow to the heart. While there are several causes, the most serious is from blood clots.


Interestingly, this condition is a type of bacterial infection that attacks the skin. As a result, a person’s foot would become swollen and painful. Other common symptoms include the skin become warm to the touch and red. The two types of bacteria that cause Cellulitis most include Streptococcus and Staphylococcus. Even if the infection were minor, it should be considered potentially dangerous. The main triggers for this particular infection include insect bite/sting, peripheral vascular disease, injury, ulcer from diabetes, and long-term use of corticosteroids.

Deep Vein Thrombosis

Of all causes of a swollen and painful foot, this is among the most serious. The official medical term is Thrombophlebitis, which can effect not only the feet but ankles and calves too. Often, a person would also notice the skin starts turning grey in colour, which is the result of blood circulation being compromised. Because of the serious nature of this condition, immediate medical attention would be critical.

Congested Heart Failure

The last possible cause of foot pain and swelling also poses very dangerous health risk. As with some of the other causes, many people are unaware that pain and swelling of the feet and hands is one of the classical signs of going into congestive heart failure. With this, the body begins to retain fluid that quickly builds up within vascular spaces, the lungs, and heart. If left untreated, the heart would shut down. For this reason, if someone experienced swelling and pain for no apparent reason, especially if this were coupled with shortness of breath and chest pain, it would be critical to call 911.