After a walk, run or any other type of sport or activity, you might feel a little bit sore. Exercise works the muscles and releases acids that can cause this reaction. Sometimes, though, even after a day or two of recovery, your feet are still aching. This could be a sign of a more serious foot and ankle injury known as a muscle strain.
A muscle strain is damage to a muscle or the tendons that attach to the muscle. This damage is often from a strain, pull, or movement that is quick and forceful. A muscle strain can result in a tear, can damage blood vessels, cause bruising, pain and even sometimes nerve damage.
If you notice that you are feeling discomfort in your foot or ankle at any time that is not normal for you, you should call a podiatrist to make an appointment. A podiatrist will examine the foot and ankle area, order an x-ray and determine the extent of the damage. They may ask if you had recently heard a popping sound as that can be an indication of a severe tear that could need emergency treatment.
After the podiatrist determines if you have a muscle strain, they may then begin to prescribe different treatment options. For minor strains resting, icing, elevation and compression may be prescribed. This method is commonly referred to as the “R.I.C.E” method and is widely used for minor injuries. It allows a patient to rest their injured limb which improves healing and speed of recovery.
For a moderate strain, a splint, cast or immobilization may be recommended. A splint is a medical grade device that restricts movement of an affected area but allows a person to take the splint on or off for simple tasks like showering. A cast is made out of plaster and should not get wet. It is for long-term immobilization of an injured area. Sometimes crutches are recommended in tandem with a splint or a cast to help keep weight off of a damaged extremity.
With rest and proper treatment, a muscle strain can be healed. If a strain is very severe, it may need surgery. If you have injured yourself and think that you may need surgery, it is always recommended that you speak to a podiatrist first. Call Dr. Alan J. Discont and Dr. Krahn of Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC located in Chandler, Arizona. You can reach us at 480-732-0033 or make an appointment online today. Muscle strains can be treated quickly and effectively.