Monday, April 26

How to treat a sprained foot

This post should be titled "how not to treat a sprained foot"... I was cleaning my room when I stubbed my toe on the foot of the bed frame--actually it's the area between the 2nd and 3rd toe of my left foot to be specific--it hurt but the pain was bearable and I just went about my business walking around like nothing happened until 5 hours later when my foot was swollen to 3x its usual size and I couldn't take another step because the pain was so bad.

They say people in the medical profession make terrible patients and I'm no exception... I've treated several cases of sprains (ankle, toe, foot, hand) and I feel I can recite the P.R.I.C.E protocol in my sleep. But with all these knowledge at my disposal, and because I know no bone was broken, I didn't apply first aid on my sprained foot until I absolutely had to and suffered more for it.

So as a service to my readers, I'm posting the P.R.I.C.E. protocol from the Mayo Clinic here so you'd know how to take care of a sprained ankle or whatever and hopefully follow it if something like this happens to you.

1. Protect the injured limb from further injury by not using the joint. You can do this using anything from splints to crutches.

2. Rest the injured limb. But don't avoid all activity. Even with an ankle sprain, you can usually still exercise other muscles to minimize deconditioning. For example, you can use an exercise bicycle with arm exercise handles, working both your arms and the uninjured leg while resting the injured ankle on another part of the bike. That way you still get three-limb exercise to keep up your cardiovascular conditioning.

3. Ice the area. Use a cold pack, a slush bath or a compression sleeve filled with cold water to help limit swelling after an injury. Try to ice the area as soon as possible after the injury and continue to ice it for 10 to 15 minutes four times a day for 48 hours. If you use ice, be careful not to use it too long, as this could cause tissue damage.

4. Compress the area with an elastic wrap or bandage. Compressive wraps or sleeves made from elastic or neoprene are best.

5. Elevate the injured limb above your heart whenever possible to help prevent or limit swelling.

*** This really works... when I woke up today, the swelling has lessened and the pain is almost gone (I took 1 Ibuprofen tablet before going to bed). I'm now able to wiggle my toes and though it's still sore, my injured foot's range of motion is good. I just put on socks because I couldn't find compressive bandages. I'm still hopping around the house on one foot but I feel loads better.


***photo via Aurora Health Care
cross-posted at All Things Medical Blog

4 comments:

Jane 19:33  

Awww... hope you recover soonest so you can make it on Friday. ;D

Bing,  21:51  

Naku masakit talagang ma sprain ang paa lalo na pag di mo sya na i-rest agad. Buti nga di buto ang tinamaan. Sana mas umokey na lagay ng paa mo. :)

Missy,  02:47  

Hope your foot will feel better soon!

Lynn 03:54  

Thanks guys!

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Thanks for the feedback. Take care!

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