Love Your Feet
Our feet are one of the most used parts of our bodies. They take us to all of the places we want to go! Because our feet are so important to everyday life, we should all learn how to properly care for them and work to prevent foot injury such as muscle strain. With so many small muscles and tendons stretching across our feet, strain is very common. And because we stand and walk on our feet every day, a foot injury would be very painful and could become quite debilitating. Read more to learn about recognizing, treating, and preventing foot strain injuries.
What Causes a Foot Strain?
Injury and trauma, sloppy exercise technique and weak muscles due to a lack of movement are the three most likely sources of muscle tear or stretch. These conditions put incredible levels of pressure of the soft tissue in your feet which can create a tear or a strain in the muscle.
The slightest tweak to an everyday activity can compromise the health of your feet. Things like stepping on a piece of debris during a run or tripping in the stairwell of your office building can have monumental effects on the way you regularly use your feet. Even something as subtle as the weather affects our bodies. In the colder months, our muscles stiffen and become more prone to injury because of the decrease in temperature.
Recognize a Strain When You See It
Common symptoms to look for:
- Tightness and restricted movement
- Muscle spasms
- Pain or tenderness
At Home Remedies to Consider for Mild Strains
There are different grades of muscle strains which are typically categorized into three groups: mild, moderate and severe. In cases of moderate to severe strains in the foot, a medical professional should be contacted. A mild strain, however, may be dealt with at home assuming symptoms do not persist and the patient is able to return to normal activity unaccompanied by pain following an appropriate recovery period.
The R.I.C.E. method is a great way to deal with a mild muscle strain at home. In fact, it’s actually smart to follow these steps as well as see a doctor for more intense strains. Let’s break down the R.I.C.E. method!
Rest: Rest your injury as much as you can over the course of the first 48 hours. Take anti-inflammatory medication to help with any discomfort.
Ice: Apply an ice pack or a frozen item– like a bag of peas– to the injured area for 20 minutes between 3 and 4 times a day. Wrap the cold object in a dish towel or a washcloth before putting it on your skin. The goal is to cool the injury and reduce swelling.
Compress: Wrap the foot with an elastic bandage to compress. Be careful that the bandage is not too tight because it could cut off circulation.
Elevate: Try to keep your foot elevated above your heart when sitting down or lying down to reduce swelling and drain fluids from the area. Once swelling subsides, heat can be applied to the area instead of cold.
Dr. Fedorchak Can Help
If you are looking for podiatric assistance, contact Dr. Fedorchak’s office at (219) 763-1680. We would be happy to offer our services to better the health of your feet and get you back to walking comfortably!