Sprained Foot

By Tim Wall MS/ATC

Do You Have a Sprained Foot?

The foot and ankle work together to provide support and mobility to the body. A foot or ankle sprain is usually signs of a soft tissue injury. Most often, a sprain occurs when an injury pulls, stretches, or tears the ligaments that connect bone to bone. There are three types or grades of sprains based on the severity of the injury.  Foot sprains are treated differently depending upon the severity of the sprain.  It is important to be properly evaluated for a foot sprain.

Causes of a Sprained Foot

Injuries are the most common cause of foot and ankle sprains and fractures. Many sprains occur during sports or recreational activity. Tripping or stumbling on uneven ground is another common cause of foot and ankle sprains.

Sprained Foot Symptoms

Pain, swelling, bruising, and difficulty walking on the affected foot or ankle are the most common symptoms of a sprained foot or ankle.  Pain with weight bearing occurs often with a foot sprain.  The only way to know the difference between a sprain and a fracture is to get an x-ray.

Treatment of Foot Sprains With The RICE Protocol

If you’ve hurt your foot or ankle, use the acronym RICE to help you.

Rest—Rest or immobilize the affected area. Stay off the injured foot or ankle until it can be fully evaluated. Walking or running on an injured foot or ankle may make the injury worse.
Ice—Apply ice to the affected area as soon as possible, and reapply it for 15–20 minutes every three or four hours for the first 48 hours after injury. Ice can decrease pain and inflammation.
Compression—Wrap an elastic bandage (Ace wrap) around the affected foot or ankle. The wrapping should be snug, but not so tight as to cut off circulation.
Elevation—Elevate the affected extremity on a couple of pillows; ideally, your foot or ankle should be higher than your heart. Keeping your foot or ankle elevated also decreases swelling.

Ice bag for the R.I.C.E Protocol for Injuries

Ice Bag

For the more severe ankle or foot sprains, you may need to consult with a physician for the proper care of these injuries.  Your physician would provide additional care and treatment for your injury.  Some sprains need to be placed in a walking boot or cast shoe to assist in the healing process.  You may also need crutches to decrease the amount of weight bearing on the joint.

Learn more about Plantar Fasciitis Here

Plantar Fasciitis

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