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Easy and Effective Ways to Treat a Sprained Foot

a man in a white shirt and blue and pink suspenders
By Babafemi Adebajo
Davor Štefanović - Editor for Upstep
Edited by Davor Štefanović

Published May 28, 2023.

A person holding an ice pack against a sprained ankle

A sprained foot is an all-too-common inconvenience that results from the stretching or tearing of ligaments around your foot. Often caused by an ankle twist, fall, or any forceful impact that twists your foot in an unnatural way, this injury spares no one, affecting individuals of all ages.

Let's first understand what puts you at risk for a foot sprain.

Foot Sprain Risk Factors

Injury risks elevate with involvement in high-impact sports, being overweight, prior ankle injuries, or possessing weak muscles in your feet or legs. Improper footwear can also significantly contribute to the risk. Symptoms of a sprained foot range from pain, swelling, and bruising to difficulty walking. Severe cases may involve weight-bearing challenges on the affected foot.

» Protect your feet from sprains on long walks with best insoles for hiking boots

Preventing Foot Sprains

Prevention is always better than cure. Here are some measures you can take to avoid foot injuries:

  • Warm-up: An essential prelude to any physical activity, warming up prepares your muscles for action, enhances flexibility and range of motion, and reduces injury risks. While stretching, avoid any movements that cause pain to your foot or ankle.
  • Wear the Right Shoes: Footwear is not just about fashion; it's about foot health. Always ensure your shoes fit well and offer the right support. Additionally, the shoe's sole should match the surface of your activity to prevent slips and falls.
  • Maintain Proper Form and Technique: Whether it's running, jumping, landing, or even diving, the correct form and technique can minimize injury risk by reducing stress on your feet and ankles.
  • Custom Orthotics: These specialized inserts provide additional support and cushioning to your feet. Designed to correct any structural issues contributing to your risk of foot sprains, orthotics help redistribute pressure evenly across your feet. Consider using Upstep Normal Everyday Activity Custom Orthotics that are tailored to your unique foot shape and specific foot concerns.

» Did you know that arch supports can be great for your feet and ankles?

Sprained Foot Treatment at Home

While the severity of the sprain influences the healing time, the right treatment can expedite the recovery process. Mild sprains may heal within a week or two, while severe ones might take several weeks. Here are some home remedies to help you manage your symptoms:

  • Rest: Cease any physical activities causing pain, swelling, or discomfort. This rest period helps prevent further ligament damage and promotes healing.
  • Icing: Ice can effectively reduce pain and swelling when applied within the first seventy-two hours post-injury. Ensure to wrap the ice in a towel or cloth before applying it to your foot for 20 minutes, repeating 2-3 times daily. Direct application of ice on the skin can lead to frostbite.
  • Elevation: Raising your foot above your heart level can help drain excess fluid from the injury site, reducing pain and speeding up recovery.
  • Medication: Over-the-counter pain medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen can aid in pain management and inflammation reduction.

If at-home treatments don't alleviate your symptoms, consider seeking medical attention. Healthcare providers may recommend physical therapy, brace or crutches for support during the healing phase, and in some situations, surgical repair of damaged ligaments might be necessary.

Step Confidently Towards a Sprain-Free Future

Sprained foot injuries are not just painful, they can significantly disrupt your daily activities. From incorporating preventative measures to using customized orthotics like Upstep, you can mitigate these injuries and promote optimal foot health.

Alongside other treatment modalities, the right footwear and orthotics can help you take confident steps towards pain-free feet and a return to your favorite activities. Order your custom orthotics today and take a stride towards healthier feet.

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