Sprained foot is another common condition affecting the feet aside from tingling feet sensation. Although I am not into sports or other activities that can put pressure on my feet, I have still suffered from this condition at least once in the past. Anybody who has experienced it will surely be able to remember the pain and discomfort that this condition brings. Common as it may be, not many people know what a sprained foot really is and how it can be treated. Understanding more about this condition can make a big difference in preventing this problem and recovering from it at the soonest time possible.
Foot Sprain Definition
The feet are comprised of connective tissues such as cartilage, ligaments and joint capsules that function as cushions between bones to reduce impact during activities. Any tearing or damage to these connective tissues results in foot sprain.
Causes of Foot Sprain
Foot sprain may develop when:
- There is excessive force placed on the foot joint as a result of jumping, rolling an ankle, or by encountering an accident.
- There is forceful bending or twisting movement in any of the feet. This is very common in certain types of sports such as gymnastics, track and field running, windsurfing and football.
- Repetitive strain in the feet especially for people who have an unstable type of feet such as flat feet.
Certain factors also increase a person’s risk of sprain. These include:
- Instability of joint
- Poor balance
- Muscle weakness
- Joint stiffness
- Lack or inadequate warm up before a game or strenuous workout
- Inappropriate footwear
Symptoms of Foot Sprain
- Sudden onset of intense pain when performing activities that put pressure on the affected joint
- Stiffness and pain which may occur in the bottom, top or side of the affected joint
- Occasional referred pain to the ankle or toes
- Pain when the affected region is touched
- In severe cases, swelling or bruising may also be present
Treatment for Foot Sprain
Physiotherapy can help hasten the healing and recovery of foot sprain. Physiotherapy treatment may include the use of orthotics, crutches, protective taping and protective boot of foot brace. Also part of this treatment process is soft tissue massage, certain exercises for improving foot flexibility and strength, and dry needling among others.
If the condition of patients does not improve despite appropriate physiotherapy treatments, a doctor may recommend other treatment options. These may involve the use of prescription medications or corticosteroid injection. In some cases, patients are also referred to a specialist called a podiatrist who can help explore other possible solutions.
Minor to moderate cases of foot sprains normally show improvement in a couple of weeks, and patients are normally able to return to normal activities in about six weeks if appropriate treatments and management are applied. As for severe cases, a longer period of time is needed for full recovery.
Foot sprain is generally not a critical health problem; however, it can affect a person’s normal activities or work. If neglected, the healing process may take longer and, sometimes, the simple sprain would progress into a more serious problem.