5 Most Common Causes of Toenail Fungus

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The 5 Most Common Causes of Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus is very contagious and incredibly easy to get. It’s a common problem in the nail that affects millions of Americans.

But how do you get it? Well, there are a lot of answers to that question. Almost all fungal nail infections come from dermatophytes and the ones that aren’t, are caused by yeast and mold.

Many times, our lifestyle choices lead to fungal infections, but it really can be as simple as catching it from someone else. Read on to learn more about the causes of toenail fungus so you can prevent it from happening to you.

1. Barefoot in Public

When moisture gets trapped under the nail, toenail fungus begins. If you spend a lot of time in public barefoot, you’re opening yourself up to this.

Also, toenail fungus spreads from person to person, so if you’re walking barefoot in the same place that someone else with the fungus did, you’re asking for trouble.

People commonly walk barefoot in public showers and swimming pools. It’s easy for moisture to become trapped under our nails in these places, and when you add the fact that other people are walking barefoot there too it’s just a breeding ground for toenail fungus.

You should wear sandals and shoes in public places at all times, save the barefoot business for home.

2. Injury to the Toenail

There are two kinds of trauma that your toenail can experience, acute and blunt.

With acute trauma, you are injuring your nail over and over again. Think about athletes and runners with shoes that don’t fit. With every step they take, they drive their toe into the inside of the shoe.

When something heavy falls on your toes, or you bang them very hard, you’re experiencing blunt trauma. Even if it just happens once, it’s a lot easier to get toenail fungus. Make sure that your nail doesn’t turn black after an injury like this.

Both of these injuries are painful and they leave you susceptible to yellow toenail fungus. Your nail becomes weak and prone to infection.

3. Circulatory Issues

If you have poor circulation in your feet, you must be very careful to steer clear from toenail fungus. People with this condition are more prone to issues with their feet.

People with poor circulation often cant tell they are having problems with their feet because of nerve damage. But that same poor circulation also makes it harder to treat and messes up our ability to heal.

If you have circulatory issues, check your feet for fungus every day.

4. Pedicures

As much as pedicures make us feel pampered and look great, they put us at risk for toenail fungus. If the salon doesn’t properly sterilize their tools, nail salons are just as bad as public showers and pools.

If the tools the manicurist uses on your feet are the same tools that they used on someone with a toenail fungus, this spreads it around easily.

Try a home pedicure instead or bring your own tools for them to use.

5. Athlete’s Foot

People often think athlete’s foot and toenail fungus are the same things, but they’re not. However, one can often lead to the other. Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection of the skin that often happens in the toes and causes itching and burning.

If you don’t treat your athlete’s foot, it can spread to your toenails as well.

Causes of Toenail Fungus

These are just some of the causes of toenail fungus. You also leave yourself more susceptible to them if you get fake nails or if your body has a naturally weakened immune system. They are spreadable and they can affect anyone, and if left untreated they can become severe.

For information on how to treat this fungus and take better care of your feet, visit us today.

5 Tips to Prevent Running Injuries

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5 Tips to Prevent Running Injuries

Each year, 65 percent of people who identify as runners, whether they are passionate marathoners or casual, occasional joggers, sustain an injury.

And while an injury can be painful and discouraging in the moment, the biggest problem with getting hurt running is often the risk that an injury will become recurring. In fact, more than 50 percent of running injuries are recurring.

While you may not be able to prevent every injury, there are many things you can do to cut down your risk of experiencing some of the most common ones. Keep reading for 5 tips to prevent running injuries.

1. Build Flexibility

If you played sports as a kid, you likely remember having a couch or captain walk you through a stretch routine before every game or practice. If you let go of this habit as you got older, it’s time to bring it back.

Stretching on a regular basis helps you to increase and maintain flexibility.

Right before a run, it helps warm up your muscles and prep them for the activity. But stretching other times throughout the day can help keep your body flexible and better prepared for your workout.

2. Strength Train

Keeping your muscles loose and stretched is far from the only way to prevent running injuries. Strengthening those muscles is another great way.

Strength training and cross training helps you to build muscle mass. While running might help you build muscle in your legs, strength train helps you build muscle throughout your body.

Strengthening the other muscles in your body is great for running injury prevention because it helps your other muscles better support your body during a run.

3. Fuel Properly

Without the right fuel, your body can’t perform. Healthy, protein-rich foods will give your body the energy it needs to get through your run, recover properly, and prepare for your next workout.

Hydration is also an important step for preventing common running injuries. Dehydration and heat exhaustion can put your body in danger and can cause lasting damage if not properly treated.

4. Add in a Warm Up and a Cool Down

Just as stretching before a run can get your muscles ready, a warm up and cool down also helps your body prepare for the workout, and can help cut down on muscle cramps and spasms.

The length and intensity of your warm up and cool down should correspond to the distance and speed that you plan to run. If you’re going for a short run, a short warm up might be enough. But if you’ll be running several miles or further, a more intense, longer warm up will better prepare you for your actual run.

5. Choose the Right Shoes

You wouldn’t arrive at a baseball game without your mitt or a football game without pads. In the same way, you need the right shoes for your run, or else your workout just won’t be the same.

While many shoes might look and feel right for running, having the correct pair for your feet, the type of terrain you’re running on, and the speed and distance you plan to run, is essential for preventing injury.

Prevent Running Injuries Today

Another important tip for how to prevent running injuries is to properly care for any injuries that you do have, so that won’t become recurring ones.

If you’re experiencing any common foot problems as a result of your running, we can help. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and let’s help you regain fitness and good health.

3 Remedies for Plantar Fasciitis

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3 Remedies for Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis can have a large impact on your daily life. It can become hard to work or do the things that you seriously enjoy.

Here are three remedies for plantar fasciitis that can ease your pain, and get you back moving again.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis is a pain in adults that occurs in the heel of the foot. It is caused by the inflammation of the fascia tissues of the heel.

It can be triggered by the overuse of the feet during exercise or working in any way that stresses your feet.

It typically occurs in either the dominant heel or both at the same time.

Remedies for Plantar Fasciitis

There are many who prefer natural remedies for the issues rather than the extremes such as surgeries, or steroid injections.

Natural remedies can at least hold back the issue and ease inflammation.

Ice Packs and Ibuprofen

Ice packs and ibuprofen can help cut down on some of the inflammation caused by Plantar Fasciitis.

Use this treatment often to get rid of swelling and it should at least provide some temporary relief, however, it isn’t permanent. Some find this is a better option than surgery however because it’s a recurring injury.

Treating Plantar Fascitis like a sports injury, with ice, however, can provide some relief to get you through your day.

Shoe Inserts or Tape

Securing your feet with medical tape, or using inserts can give your feet the support that normal shoe soles can not.

Wrapping your feet in tape can provide arch support and help them recover. These two remedies, again are quick fixes. They can get you through your work day but they aren’t permanent cures.

You can pick them up at any drug or department store and when you aren’t trying to be active, there is also no better cure than rest.

Physical Therapy

If medication, ice, and rest don’t help you, your doctor might recommend physical therapy for a more permanent solution.

You will be taught exercises that will strengthen your plantar fascia, Achilles tendon, and your lower leg muscles.

Your therapist might also decide to use massages, contrast baths, or ultrasonography to help with your long-term healing process.

If you don’t show progress after a certain number of months though, your doctor may suggest a more involved method such as the surgeries or injections.

Get Back On Your Feet

Plantar Fasciitis affects about 10 percent of the adult population and is common in those who are on their feet a lot.

If left untreated this can cause you severe heel pain that can leave you out of work, and keep you from doing things you enjoy such as hiking.

Look into these natural remedies today, and ask your doctor about your plantar fasciitis.

To request an appointment with us today to get a diagnosis, please contact us here.

How to Choose the Right Diabetic Footwear

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Did you know that around 25% of all diabetes-related visits to the hospital are due to foot problems?

It’s because high blood sugar levels can cause damage to the feet’s fine blood vessels. With decreased blood flow to the feet, a number of deformities could happen. These include calluses, hammertoes, claw toes, and foot ulcers.

The good news is, even with all the medical issues associated with diabetes, foot care is one area of self-management where putting in effort and vigilance pays off. Here, we’ll talk about the importance of choosing the right diabetic footwear as an essential component of diabetic foot care.

Diabetic Footwear for Injury Prevention

Choosing the right footwear isn’t optional, especially if you have diabetic peripheral neuropathy. You don’t want to risk even the tiniest blister because that could lead to an infection. And an infection might lead to gangrene, which could lead to an amputation.

Even on the beach, you don’t want to go walking around in flip-flops, or worse, going barefoot. You need to think of diabetic footwear as your first line of defense against injury.

The Best Diabetic Shoes: What to Look for

Lightweight and breathable. Those are the first two things you want in diabetic shoes. You want to make sure the construction allows your feet to breathe.

Your best bet is those with designs that allow room for custom insoles. You also want to stay away from footwear that has interior seams to prevent friction injuries.

Other things to look for include a spacious toe box and velcro or elastic. The last two will help you adjust the fit easily and prevent your shoes from moving around and slipping.

Tips for Choosing the Right Diabetic Shoes

The right shoes don’t have to be custom-made. You can buy them off the shelf if you don’t have bunions, hammertoes, or any other foot deformity that would prevent you from using regular shoes.

If you do, then you need special inserts or customized shoes. High-heels are definitely a no-no, as are slip-on loafers and sandals with straps between the toes. Loafers don’t offer a lot of support, while sandals with straps can rub against your feet.

Whatever footwear your doctor recommends, off-the-shelf or specially-made therapeutic shoes, make sure the fit is good. Remember to bring the type of socks or stockings you usually wear, as well as any orthotics you’re using when you go shoe-shopping.

When to Replace Your Diabetic Shoes

It’s a good idea to replace your shoes every two years. Of course, if you use your pair every day, you might have to replace them sooner.

Also if you’re seeing signs such as collapsed heels, worn down heels, and torn inner lining, you don’t need to wait. You can replace your pair as soon as possible.

Ready to Buy Diabetic Footwear?

Great! But if you have other questions, it’s best to ask a podiatrist in your area. Not only can he or she help you find the right pairs to wear, they can also give you self-management tips to prevent foot problems.

Got other concerns and questions? You can call our office +1-626-385-3338 or email us at

5 Benefits of Orthotics for Plantar Fasciitis

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Why You Should Consider Orthotics for Plantar Fasciitis

Approximately 1 in 10 people will experience plantar fasciitis during their life. Plantar fasciitis is painful, frustrating, and can be extremely difficult to get rid of.

It can also lead to more severe injuries including arthritis, back problems, and ankle injuries.

If you’re experiencing heel pain, then keep reading to learn how orthotics for plantar fasciitis can help.

1. Reduce Impact

Orthotics work to prevent and heal plantar fasciitis by reducing the impact shock of walking and running. The cushion absorbs most of the impact shock before it hits the souls of the feet.

This method provides extra comfort and support, too.

Orthotics for plantar fasciitis also make sure your weight is distributed evenly over your feet. When you have high arches or flat feet (fallen arches), your weight is not distributed evenly throughout the foot. This causes overuse of certain ligaments and bones, which can lead to pain and injury.

With orthotics insoles, your feet are evenly supported so no straining or stressing will occur.

2. Prevent Pain

Orthotics not only help prevent heel pain from plantar fasciitis. They help reduce pain in many areas of the body.

Orthotics help to align the feet properly and distribute weight evenly. This, in turn, aligns the ankles, knees, and spine, too.

Plantar fasciitis patients often have issues with the alignment and placement of their feet. Thus, they may experience pain in other areas, too.

So, orthotics can reduce and prevent all the pain associated with plantar fasciitis. No more worrying about numerous pain relief methods.

3. Better Balance

Orthotics for plantar fasciitis are a lifesaver when it comes to athletic performance and simply balance. It is difficult to balance when your weight is not evenly distributed in your feet.

Being off-balance is dangerous, as it can lead to falls and injuries, and it also hinders performance.

Throw in some orthotic insoles and you’ll be able to get back to yourself again.

4. Correct Supination

As briefly noted, orthotics are beneficial for other parts of the body besides the feet. Supination is the term given when ankles tilt outward due to high arches and plantar fasciitis.

Orthotics will help support the foot so that your balance is evenly distributed and your ankles can get back in alignment. This will prevent injury and also help align the knees and hips.

5. Correct Pronation

Pronation is what happens when ankles lean into the middle of the body due to flat feet and plantar fasciitis. Pronation is one of the largest factors in knee injuries and arthritis.

Using orthotics can re-align your ankles as your soles become even. Using orthotic insoles will prevent injuries and pain for your feet, ankles, and knees.

Talk to Us About Orthotics for Plantar Fasciitis Today

At PFAA, we offer comprehensive care for all your foot health needs, including orthotics for plantar fasciitis. We custom order orthotics for our patients with plantar fasciitis based on the biomechanics of your foot.

Schedule an appointment with our podiatrists today. We accept new patients and most insurance plans.

The Ultimate Guide to Dealing with an Infected Toenail

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The Ultimate Guide to Dealing with an Infected Toenail

Even well-maintained feet can be subject to infection. As we age, infected toenails are often a reality. Nails become dry and brittle and can crack. These cracks in the nails allow fungi to enter and wreak havoc.

A fungus infection can also be caused by a weakened immune system or poor blood circulation to the feet, which is often a symptom of diabetes. Also, athlete’s foot can sometimes spread into the toenail. However, these kinds of fungal infections are rarely contagious to others.

Mild symptoms can often be treated at home with over-the-counter medications. For persistent or severe symptoms, it’s best to consult a physician.

Symptoms of an Infected Toenail

Some of the symptoms of nail fungus include:

  • Thickened nails
  • Discolored nails, white, yellow or brown
  • Brittle or crumbly nails
  • Nails that are distorted in shape
  • Slightly foul smelling nails

Obviously, none of these are ideal conditions for your feet.

Causes of Toenail Fungus

Infected toenails are usually caused by a fungus, called dermatophyte. Although nail infections can happen to anyone at any age, it’s most common in older people with brittle and cracked nails.

Risk Factors include:

  • Being older
  • Reduced blood flow
  • Sweating heavily
  • Athlete’s foot
  • Walking barefoot in damp areas (swimming pools, gyms, and shower rooms)
  • Nail injury
  • Psoriasis
  • Diabetes
  • Weakened immune system

Some of these factors are easy to avoid. Others not so much. So what can you do if an infection occurs?

Home Treatment

1. Vicks VapoRub

A study at Harvard Medical School asserts that Vicks VapoRub, applied daily on the infected toenail, “might be at least as effective as most of the topical treatments for toenail fungus that are available by prescription or over the counter.”

2. Ozonized Sunflower Oil

One study found that Oleozon, or ozonized sunflower oil, when applied topically twice a day, cured 90% of fungal nail infections within three months of use.

3. Snakeroot Extract

Snakeroot plant extract, applied once or twice a week has also been shown to have great success. Traditionally used in Mexico, this plant extract contains encecalin, which has antifungal qualities.

4. Pau d’Arco Tea

Pau d’Arco contains naphthoquinones, which is an antifungal compound. The tea is made from the inner bark of a tree, native to South America. It’s important to note that soaking your feet in the tea, rather than drinking it, is how to apply treatment.

5. Oregano Oil

Mix 2 drops of oregano oil with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and apply to the infected toenail daily for no longer than 3 weeks. Thymol and carvacrol are both found in oregano oil, and both have antifungal qualities.

6. Apple Cider Vinegar

Soak toenails in a 1:2 ratio of vinegar to warm water for 20 minutes a day. The acetic acid in vinegar is antifungal.

7. Tea Tree Oil

Apply tea tree oil with a cotton swab twice daily to the mildly infected toenail. One study found tea tree oil to be just as effective as the antifungal medicine clotrimazole for mild cases.


There are many precautions you can take to prevent fungal infections:

  • Wash your hands and feet regularly
  • Moisturize
  • Trim nails straight across to prevent ingrown nails
  • Disinfect your nail clippers
  • Wear absorbent socks
  • Wear shoes made of breathable materials
  • Disinfect shoes regularly
  • Wear flip-flops or water shoes in pool areas and locker rooms
  • Only go to nail salons that sterilize manicure tools after each customer

These are easy tips to follow and are very effective at preventing a nasty infection.

When to See a Physician

See a physician if self-care isn’t working, especially in severe cases and when symptoms are persisting.

Also, if you have diabetes or a weakened immune system, fungal infections can lead to more serious complications, so it’s important to see a doctor right away.

If you have complications from a toenail infection, it might be time to talk to a podiatrist.

Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

5 Tips for Diabetic Foot Pain Relief

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5 Tips for Diabetic Foot Pain Relief

Up to seven out of 10 people with diabetes deal with neuropathy, which can lead to severe pain.

Peripheral neuropathy, the most common in diabetics, typically begins in the legs and feet. This is a reason why those who suffer from diabetic neuropathy are two to three times more likely to experience falls than other diabetics.

Having trouble finding diabetic foot pain relief? Keep reading to learn what steps you can take to enjoy a more pain-free lifestyle.

1. Take the Right Supplements

Low levels of vitamin D are common in diabetics suffering from peripheral neuropathy. Since it’s tough to get your daily recommended amount of vitamin D from your diet, it may be necessary to start supplementing.

Meanwhile, B complex vitamins fight inflammation and promote nerve damage repair. Leafy green vegetables and beef are both high in B complex vitamins.

It may be a good idea to try other natural anti-inflammatories such as omega-3 and alpha lipoic acid as well.

2. Say Goodbye to Smoking

There are many diabetic products that help provide diabetic foot pain relief. But if you’re a smoker, a good way to start getting immediate relief is by kicking the habit.

Nicotine in cigarettes constricts blood vessels and can damage arteries. Therefore, diabetics who smoke actually prevent blood from getting to their limbs, which can contribute to the pain.

By quitting smoking, you improve the circulation in your legs and feet.

3. Exercise Regularly

Believe it or not, there’s evidence showing that exercise mitigates neuropathic pain. It accomplishes this by reducing pro-inflammatory cytokines.

But there are even more ways that exercise helps diabetic foot pain sufferers. Regular exercise can lower your blood sugar and improve your blood circulation.

You can start taking advantage of its benefits by going on short walks every day. However, if you want an intense but joint-friendly workout, try swimming.

4. Enjoy Warm Baths

Research shows that passive heating dilates blood vessels and boosts peripheral circulation. This means that enjoying a warm bath is not only relaxing, but it may also fight against diabetic foot pain.

If you don’t find baths particularly appealing, you can opt for a warm foot soak instead. It will provide similar benefits.

5. Keep Your Stress and Anxiety Levels in Check

Do you find yourself stressed out all the time?

Well, your foot might be suffering as a result. High stress and anxiety levels can actually worsen your pain.

Getting a hold of your stress levels starts with adequate rest and exercise. But you don’t have to stop there.

If massages relax you, feel free to indulge in them when you get the chance. Breathing exercises and meditation may also reduce your stress hormone levels.

Final Thoughts on Diabetic Foot Pain Relief

It’s important to keep in mind that, like with diabetes, a cure for peripheral neuropathy doesn’t currently exist. Any pain medication you take won’t treat the nerve damage itself. But you can manage the pain by employing some of the tips outlined above.

Looking for even more ways to relieve your diabetic foot pain? If so, make sure to check our list of services today.

Everything You Need to Know About Wart Removal

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Everything You Need to Know About Wart Removal

Warts are skin growths that appear due to a virus under your skin. While they aren’t cancerous or necessarily dangerous, they can be embarrassing and unsightly.

Leaving warts on your skin can also cause them to spread, creating even more growths. Wart removal is often the best option for those experiencing these skin growths. Keep reading to learn more about your options.


Cryotherapy is one of the most common wart removal treatments. This refers to freezing the wart in order to get rid of it and prevent it from spreading.

This treatment will be done by your doctor in the doctor’s office. It is a relatively short procedure. It can be slightly painful, but since the procedure takes so little time that it’s not much pain.

This method is known for minimal scarring, which makes it good for warts in highly visible areas like on your arms or your face. However, it can cause scarring on darker skin, which is something to keep in mind.

The doctor will apply liquid nitrogen directly to the wart and some of the surrounding area. It may go numb and form a blister, but you should be good to go back to your normal life the minute you leave the office.

A scab will form and fall off within a week of the procedure.

Cantharidin Treatment

Cantharidin is a liquid that causes blisters to form. For wart removal, the doctor will put a layer of cantharidin on the wart that will cause a blister to form underneath the wart and essentially push it up off of your skin.

You’ll wait about a week and go back to see the doctor, where they will then clip the wart off of your skin.

While this treatment isn’t painful, it can cause some itching and irritation around the blister site. But the good news is, there is little to no scarring with this procedure, and the pain is minimal to non-existent.

Excision and Electrosurgery

Electrosurgery involves burning the wart away with an electrical charge. A doctor will use a specialty charge needle to burn the tissue on and around the wart.

You’ll be numbed with a local anesthetic in order to dull any pain you’d feel during the procedure. While a local anesthetic will numb the pain, the actual injection of the anesthetic can be painful.

Oftentimes, curettage or excision techniques will be used alongside electrosurgery. This is where the doctor physically scrapes or cuts the wart tissue off of your normal tissue. You will be numbed with anesthetic for this technique.

The downside to these techniques is that they can leave scars and be more painful than other removal options.

Wrapping Up: Wart Removal Treatments

Having warts removed isn’t necessarily the most fun or exciting thing to happen in your life. However, it can be necessary for your physical and mental health.

Hopefully, this article has helped you to understand some of your options when it comes to wart removal. Feel free to contact us with any questions.

How to Find the Best Podiatrist in Your Area

How to Find the Best Podiatrist in Your Area

When you think about all the time we spend on our feet, it’s no wonder that so many people experience foot pain. Daily activity can put stress on this part of the body, and certain health issues like diabetes can also cause foot problems.

Taking care of your feet should be a health priority, and there are lots of things you can do to ensure foot health. Most importantly, if you do experience issues with your feet, you need to book an appointment with a podiatrist.

Finding the best podiatrist in your area doesn’t have to be a daunting task, and the sooner you book an appointment, the sooner you’ll be on the road to recovery.

Below, we’re sharing a few tips on how you can find the podiatrist that will work best for you so you can get back on your feet–literally.

Read on to learn more.

1. Online Resources

Finding the best podiatrist for you could be as simple as spending some time on the Internet. There are a lot of online resources that will help you locate what podiatrists are in your area.

Podiatric associations can be a good place to start. They typically keep a database of podiatrists who are members of their organization, and make it easy for patients to search podiatrists in their area.

Most pediatric associations will require podiatrists to adhere to a code of ethics as well, so any doctor you find through that resource should deliver the highest quality patient care.

2. Former Patients

Because foot problems are so common–especially among athletes or those with similar medical conditions–you probably know someone who has been to a podiatrist in your area.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to former patients to ask them about their experience with a particular podiatrist. Many will be happy to share. Whether they had a good experience or a bad one, they can help you make an informed decision.

3. Ask Questions

In order to determine if a particular podiatrist will be right for you, you need to have as much information about them and their practice as possible.

Create a list of questions that you want answered, so you can compare all of your options. For example, do they accept your insurance? Do they provide the specific services you need? What is their expertise or training in a particular area?

You should also pay attention to their attitude in answering your questions. Friendly staff who are happy to provide you with the information you request will likely make for a better medical team.

Ready to Book an Appointment with the Best Podiatrist in Your Area?

No one ever wants to have to visit the doctor. But if you do have a foot problem that requires a podiatrist’s attention, you want to do everything you can to ensure you’re getting the best care possible.

Do your research and ask questions so that you can find the podiatrist who will get you on your way to a fast recovery. For more information or to book an appointment, please contact us at any time.

5 Things to Immediately Do After a Foot Sprain

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5 Things to Immediately Do After a Foot Sprain

A foot sprain can be as painful as a break but rather than involving the bones it’s an injury to the ligaments. Rolling, twisting, or turning of the ankle can lead to a sprain.

The ligaments on the outside of the ankles are the most common ones affected by this injury. The ligaments tear and stretch when the ankle is rolled, twisted or turned in an unnatural way.

Initial treatment and first aid for a foot sprain are important. They can help you avoid further damage or injury to the ankle.

Keep reading to know the five most important things to do to treat a sprained ankle.

Symptoms of a Foot Sprain

It’s always a good idea to have your injury evaluated by a doctor. This will ensure you’re providing the proper care and treatment.

If there are no complications from foot sprain you will likely heal with self-care. Consult a doctor if you have any concerns or questions. A doctor can diagnose the injury and confirm the best course of treatment.

The signs and symptoms of a foot sprain may include:

  • discomfort particularly when putting weight on the injured ankle
  • swelling and bruising
  • tenderness when touched
  • sudden pain or popping sensation at the time of injury
  • smaller range of motion and instability

Take note of any new sensations, pain or difficulties experienced after injury.

If you are diabetic make sure you perform a diabetic foot exam. It’s particularly important to be proactive in foot care when dealing with diabetes. Ensure there are no cuts or skin tears that may affect your overall health.

Once you know it’s a sprain you can take some initial steps to care for it.

Many know the prescribed course of treatment for a foot sprain as R.I.C.E.

1. Rest

The strained ligaments need to rest so they can heal. Limit any weight-bearing activities. This can be done through the use of crutches.

Avoid putting any pressure on the affected ankle until it no longer hurts to do so.

2. Ice

Apply ice as soon as possible after the injury. This will help keep swelling down. It’s good to ice it for approximately 15-20 minutes several times a day for the first few days after hurting it.

After a couple days of icing, you should find that swelling has gone down and the ankle is stronger.

Continue to ice four to eight times a day but avoid using any longer than 20 minutes at a time. Icing for too long can cause tissue damage.

3. Compression

Immediately after suffering a foot sprain applying compression is important to minimize swelling. If a compression bandage is not available find another way to provide compression. It can be as simple as tying your shoe tight to apply pressure.

Many people make the mistake of taking their shoe off when they hurt their ankle. They are unable to get it back on because it swells up. High top shoes work well in this situation.

Compression socks are an option if you don’t have shoes or a compression bandage on the injury.

4. Elevate

Elevating the ankle above the heart can reduce swelling and pain. This is especially true when sleeping at night. Use pillows to prop your ankle up allowing fluids to drain and swelling to go down.

This will also help reduce throbbing and pain sensations.

Manage Pain and Monitor Progress

Over the counter pain medications such as Ibuprofen, Advil, naproxen or Tylenol can reduce pain. Use as directed when experiencing discomfort.

Always ensure you consult a doctor about any medications you wish to take. Mention all herbal, OTC or prescribed medications you are currently taking to avoid contraindicated complications.

Prevention Is the Best Medicine

The best way to treat a foot sprain is to prevent it from happening in the first place and avoiding reinjury.

  • Proper footwear for the activity. Good support for the ankle.
  • warm up before physical activity
  • keep muscles limber and strong
  • avoid heels or shoes that don’t fit properly

You don’t have to avoid the things you love to do. You just have to be smart about how you do them.

Check out our blog to learn more about caring for your feet