Joint pain in the foot can be difficult to deal with, and the best treatment for it will depend on the underlying cause. Typically, medications designed to relieve inflammation and reduce pain as a means of foot pain relief are the best choice, as along with elevating the foot to promote circulation and reducing swelling. Swelling can be fixed by applying ice, which should be put into a bag and subsequently wrapped in a cloth to avoid direct contact.
Some foot conditions, such as tendinitis, cause major swelling and pain when a person tries to move the foot. Though pain relievers can eliminate the side effects, a physician must become involved when the pain becomes severe. Tendinitis is a condition in which the tendons have become inflamed, whether it is due to overusing the muscles or because of injury. Typically, this problem is found in the hands, but it can also be found in the feet.
Foot bunions occur when the large bone on the foot protrudes out from the side. This is also a significantly painful experience that creates pressure when putting on tight shoes. Applying ice and taking anti-inflammatory medications can reduce the pain and swelling, but surgery is sometimes needed. Sometimes, corticosteroids can help with the pain and swelling, but it can also damage the nearby tissue or cause irritation.
When a stress fracture is to blame, then the foot may need to be put in a cast while it heals. Once the fracture heals, the swelling and pain typically go away. There are analgesics and sports creams that can help with the pain, but this relief is often just temporary and the treatment cannot be used indefinitely. Wrapping the foot in a pressure bandage after applying ointment can also provide some relief for the affected foot.
In the absence of injury, it is still important to figure out what is causing the foot pain. Poor circulation can cause swelling in the foot and the ankle, as can kidney or heart disease. A physician can rule out kidney disease with a blood test, and an ultrasound test can check whether or not the blood flow to the foot is being impeded.
Though anti-inflammatory drugs can help relieve the pain, it is not for everyone. Aspirin, ibuprofen, and other medications have side effects such as heartburn, abdominal cramping, and stomach pain for some individuals. Those intolerant of this kind of medication may look for acetaminophen pain relievers instead. Note, however, that they help pain but not swelling.