Treating Sports Injuries to the Feet

In our previous post, we wrote about ways to prevent foot and ankle injuries while playing sports. Today, we’d like to touch upon ways to treat some common sports injuries.

For mild injuries with minor pain, the best way to treat the injury at home is to use the RICE method (as follows). This method will help relieve pain and reduce swelling.

· R = Rest. Continuing to practice or play sports can worsen the injury, and possibly create complications or other issues. Try not to put too much weight on the injury foot or ankle and use a crutch if it helps.

· I = Ice. To reduce swelling and pain, you can use an ice pack or other cold compress for 15-20 minutes at a time, 4-8 times a day.

· C = Compression. An elastic wrap, compression sleeve, or air cast can be used to reduce swelling at the site of the injury.

· E = Elevate. As you rest your injured foot or ankle, try to raise your injury above the level of your heart to help reduce swelling. When sitting or lying down, you can use pillows to prop your foot up.

When you have a severe injury, you should call a doctor right away. This will include symptoms including: severe pain, swelling, or numbness; you cannot bear weight on the injured foot or ankle, your ankle joint feels unstable.

With severe injuries, you may be treated with one or more of the following:

· Rest and Immobilization may be suggested as the first treatment. You should stay off the injury and if necessary, you may be fitted with a splint, cast, or boot. This will prevent further injury and allow healing without further aggravation to the injury.

· Over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin or ibuprofen. These will help reduce pain and swelling.

· Physical therapy may be prescribed if an injury has caused a long period of immobilization. As tissue heals, it can become stiff, so it’s important to stretch and strengthen your muscles.

· Surgery is not common for sports injuries, but will be used in specific cases. In very severe cases, surgery may be required to correct a broken bone, a bone growth, or ligament and tendon repair.

No matter the injury, it is important that you don’t just “power through it”. Ignoring a small injury or pain could make it worse later. For acute injuries, you should give immediate attention and use the RICE method. For chronic injuries, make sure you give yourself adequate rest time and practice proper injury prevention techniques. If you have further questions, contact us at PerfectFeetCare Podiatry Centers. Our podiatrists, Dr. Juliette Perez and Dr. Katherine Machado will assess your feet and ankles injuries for proper treatment. Make an appointment with us at our Miami (305-225-4277) or Hialeah (305-246-7437) offices.