Having pain in your feet is fairly common, especially if you have done a lot of standing or walking. The pain usually fades, especially if you apply ice and spend time with your feet propped up and resting. Sometimes the pain lasts longer than normal, though. This could mean there is a more serious problem and you might need the assistance of a professional to get your feet healthy and feeling good again. Foot pain might not be serious, but there are a few ways to know if it might be. If you have a sore on your feet that will not heal, it is probably a good idea to see a podiatrist. This applies to feet and the ankle area, as well. Those with diabetes frequently have this problem because it takes longer to heal. Open wounds can lead to skin and bone infections, so get the problem treated as soon as possible.
You should see a medical professional if you notice pain or swelling in only one of your feet. This is called edema and it is a sign that blood is not flowing properly. Sometimes feet swell after walking, standing or sitting too long, but both should swell fairly evenly. It could be a broken bone or a tendon rupture if only one of your feet is swollen.
If you notice discoloration on the skin you should see a professional. Both of your feet should look alike. There will be subtle differences that you will be aware of, but if someone could look at your feet and see a noticeable difference, there is likely a health issue. Redness might indicate infection and blue or purple might mean there is a circulation problem. Pale or gray feet might also mean a problem with blood flow, so it is important to have the issue checked out. If blood is not flowing properly to all parts of your body, it can lead to serious problems.
If you experience a burning or tingling sensation in your feet, you need to see a professional. This could be caused by several different things and could be the sign of a serious problem. Neuropathy, often caused by diabetes, might case decreased sensation in your feet. Though you might not be able to cure the problem, your doctor needs to monitor the problem so serious problems like ulcers can be avoided.
Finally, you should see a doctor if you experience pain that increased with activity or that lasts more than 24 hours. When pain gets worse with activity, you might have a break or a fracture. There is no reason to play through the pain or ignore it. You might do permanent damage if you try to live with it. Those who have just undergone foot surgery and are experiencing ongoing pain should follow up with their doctor or surgeon. Something might be infected or you might need to have the dressing adjusted. The pain can likely be fixed, but it might require more than staying off of it for a few days.