Whether you are a dedicated runner, an avid outdoors enthusiast, a baseball player or just a weekend warrior, an injury to your sole, ankle and other parts of your foot can put you out of the action. A simple cut or bruise on your foot may be no big deal, but a sprained ankle or twisted foot could leave you laid up for weeks and unable to enjoy your favorite activities.
Fortunately, there are some things serious athletes and sports enthusiasts can do to mitigate the damage to their feet and get back in the game more quickly. If you find yourself laid up due to an aching or injured foot, contacting a few foot & ankle surgeons is a good place to start. Even if you do not think anything is broken, consulting with a good surgeon can give you peace of mind. At the very least, you will confirm your suspicion that there are no broken bones in your foot – and that the best treatment will be rest and relaxation.
After you have received your official diagnosis and determined the source of the problem, you can start the home treatments that will get you back on your feet as quickly as possible. If you have injured the sole of your foot, it is important not to rush your recovery. A good bandage and some antibiotic ointment can seal the cut and prevent infection, but trying to do too much too soon could delay healing and cause you to miss more games in the long run. Sole injuries can take some time to heal, so patience is the watchword.
No matter what part of your foot is feeling the pain, following the RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) rule will help you feel better and heal faster. Resting is an important part of the equation, since staying off your feet can prevent re-injury and promote healing.
Keeping an ice pack on your foot can reduce swelling and pain and allow you to rest more easily. Wrapping the foot in a quality flexible bandage or supporting it with a brace can also speed the healing process and reduce overall pain.
Last but not least, elevating the foot is important. The elevation will promote healthy blood flow and help the injured tissues heal more quickly. While you cannot expect a serious foot injury to heal overnight, following the RICE protocols is the best way to get back on your feet and back in the game.