A sprained foot can put a real damper on your day.
Turning your ankle at just the wrong angle when walking or running can be very painful. It can also lead to a moderate or even severe injury if you twist the joint just right.
Joint injuries are common and a sprained foot, unfortunately, is the most common.
So what do you do if you’ve sprained your foot?
Let’s take a closer look at what a sprain is, then we’ll explore some simple ways to treat a sprained foot at home.
What is a sprain?
The bones in your feet are held together by tissues called ligaments.
When you sprain a joint like your ankle, it simply means that the ligaments have stretched a bit farther than they’re meant to. It may even mean that a ligament has torn.
Like we saw above, a sprained foot or ankle is the most common type of sprain. Your feet and ankles are complex joints that carry all of your body weight around, so it makes sense that they’d be a bit more susceptible to injury.
Treating a sprained foot—start with RICE
RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
When you sprain a joint, it’s going to swell. Treating the sprain quickly will help reduce the swelling and encourage quicker healing.
If you have a sprained foot, the best thing to do for it is:
1. Get off your feet and rest the foot
2. Put ice on the sprained area
3. Wrap the joint with an elastic bandage
4. Keep your foot elevated while icing it and anytime you’re sitting
Massage the sprain
Once you’ve tried the above, here’s one more option to help reduce the pain and swelling.
Try gently massaging or rubbing the sprained area to encourage blood flow and help reduce the swelling. You could even try a foot massager, for an optimal experience.
If it hurts to massage, stop right away. You don’t want to hurt the sprain anymore that it already is.
Give it a soak
Another good way to help reduce the swelling and pain in your foot is to soak the foot in an Epsom salt bath.
To do this you’ll need water, a few tablespoons of Epsom salt, and a large bowl. Once you’ve assembled your ingredients, all you need to do is heat the water and combine with the salt in the bowl. Then soak your sprained foot for 30 minutes to an hour.
Should you see a doctor?
If you’ve tried all of the above and you’re still experiencing swelling or pain, you may have more than a sprain.
Persistent pain could be a sign of something more serious. This could be a sign that it’s time to visit your doctor.
If you allow a more serious injury to persist, you could end up with much more serious problems.
Putting it all together
Your feet are important and keeping them in good condition is vital to long-term health.
While preventing a sprained foot is probably one of the better ways to keep your feet in good shape, accidents do happen. When they do, it’s best to treat the problem quickly. And if your own treatments don’t work, be sure to get to a doctor sooner rather than later.
For more wellness tips, check out our blog.