It may only take a second to injure your foot, but the pain can last for weeks afterward. Caring for your injury properly will help you get back on your feet sooner. Bronx, NY, foot doctor Dr. Barry Finkelstein of NYNJ Foot and Ankle Associates shares a few injury care tips and explains how a podiatrist can help you.
What should I do if I injure my foot?
Stop what you're doing immediately if you feel pain in your foot. If you've heard the old adage "no pain, no gain," you may be tempted to press on with your run, walk or game. Unfortunately, continuing to move after you feel pain can worsen the injury and may even lead to chronic pain or other issues.
Once you've stopped, sit down and assess your injuries. Can you put weight on your foot? Can you walk on it? How bad is the pain? If you can't put weight or walk on your foot, or if your foot is obviously misshapen, you'll need to pay a visit to the emergency room. Also visit the ER if you can't stop the bleeding, the cut is deep, or you are in severe pain.
If your injuries don't require immediate medical attention, you can care for your foot at home using the "RICE" approach. RICE stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation and includes these steps:
- Rest: Stay off your foot as much as possible for a week or two.
- Ice: Apply ice packs to your injury a few times every day. Keep the ice on your foot no longer than 15 to 20 minutes and wait at least 20 minutes before reapplying.
- Compression: Wrap your foot in a compression bandage to reduce swelling.
- Elevation: Keep your foot elevated as much as possible.
What if home treatment doesn't help?
If your foot still hurts after a week or two, or you have trouble walking on it, you may want to make an appointment with our Bronx office. Depending on the cause of your injury, you may benefit from a cast, walking boot or crutches. Wearing a cast or walking boot takes pressure off your foot, allowing it to heal. If you have heel pain or plantar fasciitis, orthotics, night splints and physical therapy may help reduce your pain. Pain caused by Achilles tendinitis can be helped by orthotics and foot exercises. Other therapies that may be helpful for foot injuries include shock wave, ultrasound and electrical current treatments.
Treating foot pain promptly is crucial. If you're concerned about a foot injury, call Bronx, NY, foot doctor Dr. Barry Finkelstein of NYNJ Foot and Ankle Associates at (718) 881-7990 to schedule an appointment.