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All About Foot Sprains

On This Page 1) What is a Sprained Foot? 2) First Aid for a Sprained Foot 3) Taking care of a Foot Sprain

1) What is a Sprained Foot? A sprained foot is caused when one or more connective tissues any of the joints in the feet get damaged. It is a fairly common injury and can be treated in many different ways, though in some cases it can have serious implications. There are three types of foot sprains based on the extent of damage that is inflicted upon the joints or the tissues. A grade 1 foot sprain is of the mildest type where the severity of the sprain is not so much and can easily be treated. In a grade 2 foot sprain, the ligaments or other tissues may be partially torn and can require more extensive treatment. A grade 3 foot sprain is the most dangerous kind of sprain wherein the tear to the tissues may be extensive and can even affect a person’s ability to walk. The human foot has 28 bones that are connected by 57 joints making it more likely to sprain one’s foot. Even though mostly affecting people involved in sport and other strenuous physical activities, it is also not uncommon for anyone to sprain their foot. A sprain can be caused by forceful or sudden bending or twisting of the feet. Outdoor activities like jumping, running, and sometimes even walking can cause a foot sprain.

2) First Aid for a Sprained Foot The normal process for healing common grade 1 foot sprains is simply rest. In some cases of wear and tear, normal home based ointments and massages can also help. A grade 1 sprain is not considered very serious and unless a person is unable to stand on their foot following a sprain, a doctor need not be consulted. Putting some ice on the affected area also helps reduce any swelling. It is important to rest even though the sprain may be minor in order to


minimize any further potential damage that can be caused to the feet.

Grade 2 foot sprains, however, need a little more attention compared to smaller sprains. When a tissue is torn or is badly damaged, the amount of pain that a person feels is much greater. In many cases a person may be unable to walk or even stand on their foot. First Aid should involve a pain relief ointment that can be applied over the affected area. The affected foot should be elevated and kept that way after the injury. An elastic bandage can be temporarily used to compress the sprained area. A doctor should be consulted if the pain is too great to bear. In most cases such sprains can heal with a few days rest.

Grade 3 foot sprains are the most serious among foot sprains and a doctor should be consulted immediately. In this case, the pain felt by a person upon injury is much greater and a person may be unable to support their own weight or even stand up. The foot should be kept elevated and any attempts to move the person should be abandoned until emergency aid arrives on the scene. Applying a pain relief ointment should help but a serious sprain needs immediate medical attention.

An easy way to remember how to treat a sprained foot is to follow the RICE method. RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Rest – Immediately allow the injury to rest, even if it’s minor. This will not only be more comfortable, but also help prevent the worst of the pain and swelling. Ice – Use either an ice pack or indirect ice (such as wrapped in a towel) and apply it to the sprained foot. This will reduce the swelling, which is the primary cause of pain and loss of mobility. Compression – Using an elastic wrap or support, compress the area. This is to protect and support the foot injury as well as to slow the fluid build-up of swelling. Elevation – Elevate the injured foot above the level of the heart. This allows the fluid to drain naturally, likewise preventing the worst of the discomfort of a foot sprain.

3) Taking care of a Foot Sprain A sprained foot is the same as any physical injury and rest is all important in order to speed up the recovery process. If there is any pain while walking or any other activity, then it should be avoided. A minimum of 24-48 hours of rest where the foot is kept bandaged in an elastic


bandage is a must if there is any difficulty in walking and other related activities. Keeping an ice pack on the affected area helps reduce the inflammation and should be done regularly during the period of rest. Depending on the severity of the injury, medication may also be required. Anti-inflammatory and pain-killing medicines can be used on a doctor’s advice. Neglect can cause serious damage to the tissues and can even lead to a permanent impairment of a person’s walking abilities. In more serious cases a certain amount of rehabilitation may also be required. Rehabilitation can include simple strengthening of the joints and muscles through massage and exercise or can also include serious physiotherapy where specific areas are targeted through treatments and massages. The first 2-3 days of treatment for a seriously sprained foot are critical and extra care needs to be taken at this time. One important thing to remember is that if there is any pain exercising or in any other activity then don’t do that activity for the time being. In severe cases, a person may also need to make use of crutches for support or maybe even a wheelchair. Once the pain is gone and there are no difficulties in exercise or walking, a person can return to their normal activities.

Preventing Foot Sprain Foot sprains can happen anywhere and are not limited to sports and physical activities. It is important to know how to prevent them if possible as it can save a person a lot of hassle. One of most important things, something that goes a long way in preventing foot sprains of any kind, is the use of comfortable and appropriate footwear. It is important to wear the right kind of shoes when engaging in any sport. It is important to have protective footwear that will not just prevent damage to the feet but also has the ability to minimize any damage that can possibly occur. For people involved in sports, it is also important to warm up properly before engaging in major physical activity. Stiff muscles and joints have a higher susceptibility towards strains and sprains as compared to muscles and joints that are well warmed up. Regular exercise is also a good way to keep away from sprains and other injuries. Strengthening the body by means of exercise is one of the best ways to keep fit and prevent injuries in general. A sprained foot can be a career threatening injury to an athlete, and even for a normal person can have serious implications that impact one’s quality of life. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

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All About Foot Sprains  

The human foot has 28 bones that are connected by 57 joints making it more likely to sprain one’s foot. Even though mostly affecting people...