Posts for tag: Foot Injuries
An unexpected fall or twist can result in an injury of the foot or ankle, such as a sprain or strain. Immediate first aid can help prevent complications, reduce pain and improve recovery.
Rest, ice, compression and elevation--commonly referred to as R.I.C.E.--is the first and best treatment for minor injuries. The following tips can aid in the early treatment of common foot and ankle injuries to help reduce swelling and control the inflammatory process during the initial phase of injury.
Rest: Whether you have a strain or a sprain, rest from any physical activity is essential to protecting your injured ligaments, tendons or muscles from further damage while your body starts the repair process. Avoid putting weight on the injured foot or ankle as much as possible. In some cases, complete immobilization may be required.
Ice: Gently ice your foot or ankle with ice wrapped in a towel in a 20-minute-on, 40-minute-off cycle for the first few days post-injury. Ice is excellent at reducing inflammation and pain.
Compression: Applying some type of compressive wrap or bandage to an injured area can greatly reduce the amount of initial swelling.
Elevation: Prop your foot up while lying down or sitting so that it is higher than or equal to the level of the heart.
After a few days of R.I.C.E., many acute injuries will begin to heal. If pain or swelling does not subside after a few days, or if you are unsure of the severity of your injury, make an appointment with your podiatrist. A skilled podiatrist can properly diagnose your injury and recommend the best course of treatment.
The condition called “trench foot” was first officially diagnosed in 1812 by a doctor who treated French soldiers who spent a lot of time in cold, wet trenches. Though it is relatively rare in patients, trench foot is a very concerning foot problem that you should be aware of. If you have any potential symptoms, schedule an urgent appointment with your podiatrist to have it properly diagnosed and treated.
What Is Trench Foot?
Trench foot is a foot condition that develops because the feet have been exposed to very cold water or dampness for a very long time. Proper circulation to the feet stops as blood vessels constrict due to the cold. The feet are vulnerable to bacteria and the elements, causing a number of undesirable symptoms. Common symptoms of trench foot include:
- Discolored feet (turning red, blue or black)
- Tingling, itching or burning
- Numbness in the feet
- Red blisters
In severe cases, parts of the feet, like toes, can begin to fall off. If the foot already has some type of infection or wound, the progression of trench foot can be more aggressive. In untreated cases, gangrene can develop and amputation may be necessary.
Who Is at Risk for Trench Foot?
Trench foot was first noticed in soldiers who were forced to spend days, weeks or months in wet trenches. Wearing poorly designed shoes or boots allows the feet to become damp and cold. Any patient who lives in an outdoor environment that is very cold and gets long periods of rain could be at risk for trench foot—especially if proper boots aren’t worn at all times.
Getting Help with Trench Foot Symptoms
It’s important to have any symptom of trench foot looked at by a podiatrist as soon as possible. There are a few common ways that doctors treat trench foot:
- Warming the feet with heated pads or warm water.
- Physical therapy to bring circulation back to the feet.
- Cleaning and disinfecting the feet with antifungal agents.
- Removing bad tissue so that good tissue has a chance to regenerate on the feet.
Schedule an urgent appointment with your podiatrist if your feet have been exposed to cold, damp or dirty conditions for an extended period of time and you’re experiencing symptoms of trench foot. The sooner it is treated, the better the chance of returning the feet to a normal and healthy condition.
Any workout instructor or coach will tell you that you have to stretch your body before participating in strenuous activity, and that is good advice. However, stretching isn’t a cure-all for all that ails your feet. Here are a few busted stretching myths that you may have been taught in physical education class as a youngster. The full truth can be found by making an appointment to talk to your podiatrist.
Myth 1: Stretching Prevents All Foot Injuries
Stretching regularly reduces the chance of injury to the feet, but it doesn’t prevent injuries from happening altogether. Researchers at the George Institute for Global Health in Sydney found that stretching before physical activity doesn’t really make a difference as to whether an injury will occur. Also, if you think that stretching before a workout will eliminate soreness the next day, that’s also a myth. Stretching just gives you more flexibility and may help reduce the occurrences of serious sprains.
Myth 2: Even Stretching for Just Under a Minute Helps
Many people who stretch before a workout or sports game only do so for a few moments before jumping fullspeed into the activity. But studies have shown that stretching for just 30 to 45 seconds is not enough to make a significant effect on the flexibility of muscles and joints in your feet. Stretching longer (at least five to 10 minutes) is a better idea. Some experts suggest that simply easing slowly into the activity may even be more helpful than stretching in some cases.
Myth 3: Stretching Will Heal the Muscles and Joints
Some patients neglect to visit their doctor when they have foot pain because they believe that simple stretching will heal torn or sprained ligaments. Stretching is a way of making your joints and muscles more flexible, but it does not heal them. Additional treatments and therapies are necessary to successfully heal torn, damaged or inflamed body parts.
These myths busted should not discourage you from stretching your feet and other body parts—just know that you shouldn’t think of it as a replacement for professional care and advice from a qualified podiatrist. If you’re an athlete having foot pain or complications, schedule an appointment to discuss the issue with your podiatrist today.
Find out how to prevent and treat running injuries.
If athletes could have it their way, they would enjoy every mile of their run without experiencing any pain, discomfort or soreness. While this sounds ideal, it’s sadly not the reality we live in. With uneven and sometimes rough and rocky terrain, runners face a variety of conditions that are tough on their feet and ankles and can cause serious issues. Here are some of the most common running injuries we see and what you can do about them.
This condition often occurs because of repeated stress or overuse and affects the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscles to the back of the heel. When a runner develops Achilles tendinitis, this means the tendon is irritated and often stiff.
- Risk Factors: This condition is usually the result of a sudden increase in training, which can put unnecessary pressure on your calves. While it’s great to push yourself during your workout, you must create realistic goals to prevent injuries.
- Care: You will want to rest whenever you can and elevate your foot. Apply ice for 10 to 20 minutes a day, several times a day. Also, perform strengthening and stretching exercises like heel drops, and opt for low-impact cardio instead.
- Workout Impact: If you notice pain during or after your run you need to halt all activities until your injury is better. This is certainly not a condition that you want to continue to work out with. If you stop your workouts while the condition is still minor, you will have a faster healing time than someone who continues to work out through the pain.
Repeated stress and overtraining are the two main causes of these fractures, which can be caused by increasing your workout intensity or duration too fast. They are one of the most serious conditions that runners face.
- Risk Factors: However, those who’ve been running longer are less at risk for stress fractures than those who just started. Women are also more prone to stress fractures than men, often due to a lack of sufficient calorie intake or other nutritional deficits.
- Care: Stay off your foot until you can walk without pain. Once this happens, you can slowly incorporate jogging into your routine. You can use OTC pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications to relieve pain and swelling. Talk to your podiatrist about whether you may need crutches.
- Workout Impact: Do not workout while you have a stress fracture. You should take anywhere from eight to 16 weeks away from your workouts. This, of course, will depend on the severity of your fracture. Again, opt for swimming or other low-impact sports in the meantime.
If you ever experience severe or chronic pain in your feet or ankles it’s important to contact your podiatrist right away. While at-home care can certainly alleviate your symptoms, if your symptoms affect your daytoday activities, then it’s time to seek medical attention.
The metatarsal area is one of the most common sites for stress fractures. This article discusses the causes and treatments for these fractures.
Stress fractures anywhere on the body are caused by repeated forceful activity. Considering that the feet bear a person's body weight for much of the day, they are very susceptible to stress fractures. The long bones in the feet, the metatarsals, are particularly prone to these injuries. But how are they diagnosed, treated and prevented?
Why metatarsal stress fractures happen
Certain activities or conditions can make stress fracturing the metatarsal bones more likely. Athletes who run, dance, or jump are at risk, as are those who suddenly boost their activity level after a long period of idleness. Osteoporosis (a disorder that causes weakness and brittleness of the bones) can also increase the likelihood of stress fractures.
Diagnosis and treatment
Widespread foot pain is usually the first sign of a metatarsal stress fracture. It may disappear with rest at first, but over time, the pain will be continual and concentrated into a specific area of the foot. Because stress fractures can be extremely small, an x-ray may not immediately detect it. Bone scans or MRIs are often more accurate. Special footwear can take the pressure off of the affected area and allow the fracture to heal. Depending on the location of the fracture, a cast may be applied and crutches may be required.
Properly-fitted, quality footwear should always be worn during activity to support the feet. Alternating your activities (instead of focusing on one particular, repetitive action) will help to distribute the movements evenly. Diets rich in calcium and Vitamin D will help maintain bone integrity. It is also important to start any new physical activity slowly and work up at a gradual pace.
If you have been experiencing foot pain and believe it may be caused by a metatarsal stress fracture, contact your podiatrist for an evaluation today.