There are many reasons why people get pain in their feet. It affects a great deal of the population at one point or another and is a problem that can often be solved simply.
Here we will outline what happens when you get an injury however,if you are at all worried you should see your doctor.
This type of injury comes in two forms – acute and repeated strain.
- Acute pain often comes from a abrupt manoeuvre. It can arise from rolling an ankle, rapid blow to the foot or a fall. The acute pain stems as the result of spraining, straining or damaging soft tissue.
- Repeated strain injuries build up over a number of weeks or months. An activity is repeated so much that the muscle/joint in use doesn’t have enough time to recover. This can lead to pain and inflammation.
The (P)RICE method
One of the most recognised methods for helping with these types of injures is the (P)RICE method. Your tell you the best treatment for specific injury.
- Protect – Make sure the damaged area is kept well away from other potential sources of injury. If you have a sprain/strain, make sure the afflicted area is well supported. This involves wearing shoes that support feet well – we’re talking shoes with laces, not slip-ons!
- Rest – The most obvious of all the steps. When you start getting pain, stop what you are doing and rest. Many people choose to battle through this pain in training or at a race but this will only enhance the problem.
- Ice – This stage should be implemented with care. If ice is applied directly to the skin it can lead to blisters and further problems. Hence, ice should be completely enclosed in a damp towel and applied to the affected area for around 15 minutes – the procedure can be repeated every 2-3 hours.
- Compression – By compressing the area, a counter-pressure is exerted on the damages blood vessels. In addition to this, the pressure reduces the blood flow to the rest of the limb. Hence the applied pressure should be lower than your blood pressure (otherwise you could end up with a more serious problem than you started with!). Make sure to take all compressing elements off if the limb starts to go numb!
- Elevation – When we raise individual parts of the body – relative to the heart. The blood that is pushed through the limb will be at a lower pressure than normal – meaning less pressure in the inflamed/broken blood vessels giving them time to repair.
- Heat – Heal will increase blood flow and pressure to the affected area – potentially increasing the number of damaged blood vessels.
- Alcohol – Alcohol is known for increasing recovery time and can also cause further inflammation.
- Running – This one may seem obvious, especially with foot pain. Running will only make the problem worse, so avoid!
- Massage – Initially it is best to avoid massage – it can lead to further swelling and broken blood vessels.
Remember this is guide for reference, for all medical problems it is best to consult a doctor!