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There are many different explanations for foot pain and discomfort, and some may be caused by injury. One of the most common injuries that you can  sustain is a sprain. Sprains occur when the ligaments in your foot become damaged or torn, and are common in people who play sports, though they can occur in everyday activities from walking down the street, missing a step on the stairs or going over in your new high heels. They can affect any part of your foot, and if left untreated, can be incredibly painful. If you are suffering from a sprained ankle or foot, there are certain steps you can take to ease the pain.

As a registered HCPC foot clinic in Doncaster, our podiatrists can help assess the damage to your foot and ankle, and  will advise on the best course of treatment for a full recovery. Although some sprains clear up on their own, more serious and painful injuries need to be observed by a podiatrist.

What to Expect

After you sprain your foot or ankle, the injured area will be painful and may limit how much weight you can place upon your foot. It may even bruise and swell, depending on the severity of your injury.

Injuries to the ligaments can not only lead to pain and swelling in the short term, but can also lead to long term damage  if you don’t rest up and seek help from your local podiatrist. Mild sprains can clear up in a couple of weeks, but ligaments that have been badly torn  will take longer, and you may need a cast or splint to offload them completely. 

Rest Up and Take Medication if Needed

The first thing you should do with a foot or an ankle sprain is offload it by resting up. Try applying ice to the affected area to reduce swelling and pain, and keep the foot raised to speed up the recovery process. If you’re in pain, take medication such as paracetamol or ibuprofen to ease discomfort.

If the pain is unbearable or you cannot move your foot even slightly, you may have a broken bone, and will need urgent medical attention.When you have mild discomfort which lasts a couple of weeks, keep resting your foot until you are able to walk without any issues. Start any activity slowly, as you still may experience tenderness and stiffness. 

Like with any painful sprained ankle or foot that disrupts your everyday life, it is encouraged that you seek medical advice at the earliest opportunity. If the discomfort is not so bad that you don’t need the hospital or surgery, then your next port of call is your local podiatrist for rehabilitation of the injury.

When to See Your Podiatrist

You should seek out the help of a podiatrist if the sprain is making it hard to walk or is causing you pain. A podiatrist will be able to determine what level your sprain is currently at. A grade one sprain is considered minor, where your ligaments have small tears and usually make a full recovery upon rest. Grade two is more serious, stretches and tears are much larger meaning a trip to your local foot clinic is strongly recommended. Grade three is the most severe,  this is where your ligaments completely rupture  (detach from the bone) so it’s a good idea to make an urgent visit to the hospital for an X-Ray to rule out a break of the bone(s) that may prevent permanent damage.

At grade three, you may need surgery to reattach the ligament to the bone. A podiatrist can determine the level of your sprained ankle or foot, and can offer the best treatment and course of action needed. After a consultation to examine your injured ankle or foot, your podiatrist may suggest anti-inflammatory medication to reduce swelling, or medical braces to repair the torn ligaments.

Our podiatrists here at Doncaster foot clinic have years of experience and invaluable training to ensure you’re receiving the best care and advice possible. To book a consultation, please give us a call on 01302 342971.

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How to Treat Foot and Ankle Sprains