Having a foot or ankle injury will put a strain on even the most mundane of tasks, such as getting out of bed or getting ready for work. If the injury is on your right foot, don’t even think about driving. The results can entail a lot of frustration, especially if you have to take care of small children, your job requires you to spend a vast amount of time on your feet, or if you’re an athlete.
If you’re feeling pain or discomfort on a foot or ankle, read on for an overview of the most common injuries to these body parts and seek medical attention as soon as possible to prevent complications.
The 5 Most Common Foot and Ankle Injuries
1. Achilles Tendon Tears
The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscles to the heel bone and is the largest tendon in the human body. When overstretched, it can partially break. If the injury is severe, it could be completely severed. Symptoms include swelling, bruising, stiffness, and an inability to stand on your toes. You would also have difficulty walking, since the tendon is necessary for your feet to push off the ground.
If the injury is minor, it’ll heal on its own, as long as you take a break from the physical activity that caused it in the first place. You may also have to take anti-inflammatory medications to alleviate pain. If you suffered a complete tear, your doctor may recommend physical therapy or even surgery, as a last resort.
2. Sprained or Broken Toe
Everyone will stub a toe during one point during their life. Sometimes, all you feel is a sharp pain that subsides after a few minutes. Other times, it’s possible to injure the tendons surrounding the toe bones. When this happens, the injury can be treated by icing the area and by taking over-the-counter painkillers. However, if you fractured a toe, you’ll need medical attention to avoid complications such as chronic pain or post-traumatic arthritis.
Related article: Sprained Toe vs. Broken Toe: How to Tell the Difference
3. Stress Fractures
Repetitive movement can cause small, hairline cracks of your foot bones. The most common symptom is that the pain gets worsens during physical activity and feels a lot better during resting periods. The best way to prevent this type of injury is to warm up with dynamic drills, wear an adequate pair of shoes for your activity of choice, and by increasing the intensity of workouts gradually.
4. Ankle Sprain
If the tendons or ligaments surrounding an ankle are overstretched, you’ll feel pain in the area. This can happen if you land incorrectly from a jump, or roll your foot inward during exercise. They typically heal on their own; however, you should apply the RICE Method for treating injuries: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation to fully heal.
5. Plantar Fasciitis
The plantar fascia is the band of tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes, supporting the arches of your feet. Plantar Fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia becomes inflamed. The condition is easily recognizable as pain on the bottom of your heel when you stand or walk. People who are at a higher risk of developing this condition include pregnant women, long-distance runners, and people who have flat feet or are obese.
Plantar Fasciitis can be treated with rest, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and physical therapy.
24-Hour Emergency Room Services in Colorado Springs and Texas
If you have a foot or ankle injury, we can provide you with the care you need. If you have questions or need immediate treatment, your nearest Complete Care location is ready to help, no matter the time of day or night. We offer a variety of services to help you and your family in your time of need. No appointments are necessary.
Find the Complete Care location nearest you.