For a young athlete, an injury can be a devastating way to end a season or ruin a summer. Not that it’s much better for casual runners or active people of any age. When you lose your ability to stand or walk without pain, it doesn’t just take you out of sports—it takes you out of everything.
There’s another problem, too.
Foot and ankle injuries can be very delicate matters, because feet are your foundation, and you rely on them for nearly everything you do. Setbacks are very
We’re here to help.
Below, you can read our simple tips on helping you recover from injury and get back on your feet as quickly and confidently as possible. For those who need to recover as quickly as possible, we now offer advanced treatments such as laser therapy. More on that later.
Rule One: Don’t Play Through Pain
The first rule is this: if you suffer a sports injury to your feet or ankles, get off the field. Don’t try to walk it off or play through it. In all likelihood, you’ll make it worse.
Of course, if you suffer a severe acute trauma—say a badly sprained ankle or broken foot—you’re not going to have much choice in the matter. You might not able to bear any weight at all, even if you want to.
But if you have an overuse injury—for example, heel pain, shin splints, or stress fractures—it’s a lot more tempting to just push yourself to keep playing. “Sure, it hurts,” you might think to yourself. “But not too bad! I want to keep playing.”
Unfortunately, this kind of thinking tends to produce significant drawbacks. If you keep aggravating your injury and don’t provide proper care, it’s highly likely to become severe or chronic.
Rule Two: Remember RICE
RICE isn’t just a tasty grain you enjoy with your Chinese food. It’s also an acronym that will help you manage the pain and aid recovery after a sports injury.
- R is for Rest. Not playing through pain is a good start. In fact, you should try to avoid any activities that cause pain or discomfort.
- I is for Ice. Cold temperatures numb the pain and cause the blood vessels near the site of injury to constrict, which reduces swelling. You can ice the injury for 15-20 minutes at a time every couple of hours
. Alwayswrap ice in a wet towel or cloth to avoid direct exposure to the skin, which can cause skin and nerve damage. Only use ice within the first 48 hours or so after an injury, since once the swelling has died down the ice can actually delay healing.
- C is for Compression. Wrap up the injury with a compression wrap, ace bandage, athletic tape, brace, etc. This helps protect your tissues and joints from further injury, as well as reduces swelling.
- E is for Elevation. Lifting your feet up above heart level allows excess fluid to drain properly, and your blood to carry waste products back to the heart as efficiently as possible. Put your feet under a couple of pillows when you sleep.
Rule Three: Give Us a Call
You should always have a foot and ankle specialist evaluate your injury.
We know, it may seem silly to call a doctor after what seems like a simple sprain or aching arch. But if you really want to recover as quickly as possible—and minimize your risk of developing a chronic issue—you should never overlook expert guidance.
We’ll perform a complete exam and diagnostic testing to make sure we know exactly what’s wrong. From there, we can give you
And if you really want to recover from your injury as quickly as possible, we have an advanced option that may be able to help: laser therapy. This device is great for a wide variety of foot and ankle injuries, including muscle pain, sprains, stiffness, heel pain, tendinitis, and more.
The laser energy penetrates deep into the skin and targets painful trigger points. Circulation is boosted and more oxygen and nutrients flood into the region. Pain is reduced, while your body’s natural tissue healing processes accelerate.
The effect is quick (and cumulative), so just a few short treatments spaced out over a couple of weeks can help you feel much better, much faster than you could through traditional conservative treatment methods alone.
It’s also completely safe and painless, with no known side effects, patient discomfort, or downtime after the procedure!
If you’ve suffered a foot or ankle injury, remembering—and following—these three simple rules will help make the road to recovery as short and smooth as possible! To schedule your appointment with Freeland Foot & Ankle Clinic today, give us a call at (989) 695-6788.