Got Itchy Feet? Be Aware of Shoe Allergies

A host of things can cause your feet to become irritated, an allergy could be the culprit Keep the following in mind.

When the weather turns cool and the bulky shoes come out, so can shoe allergies — also known as shoe contact dermatitis. Sometimes it manifests in the form of a flaking, uncomfortable rash.

Shoe contact dermatitis, a skin inflammation that can be brought about by the chemicals and materials in certain shoes (rubber, glues and leather tanning chemicals, most often), could be affecting around 7 million people in the U.S., according to Tracey C. Vlahovic, an associate professor and practicing doctor at Temple University’s School of Podiatric Medicine.

“Limiting perspiration is key,” says Vlahovic , who spoke to Footwear news, adding that the burning rash most often appears when sweaty feet rub against the allergy-causing components of the shoe. More instances of the condition can happen during colder seasons because many affected people tend to wear closed-toe and heavy shoes for longer periods of time.

While such skin problems usually occur to people who are already allergic to certain materials that are commonly used to make shoes, many could be entirely unaware of any allergy until the rash appears.

How can you treat foot allergies?

Once the skin irritation occurs, depending on seriousness, it can be treated by prescription medications (such as Elidel cream) or over-the-counter creams and ointments (such as Aveeno Intense Relief). It can also go away after the allergy-causing material is removed. In extreme cases, patients may need antibiotics or steroid injections to treat the allergy if it spreads to large parts of the body, Vlahovic explained.

How can you avoid shoe contact dermatitis?

“Avoidance of the allergen can be difficult,” said Vlahovic. Still, she suggests everyone minimize sweating in their feet as much as possible — whether it be by wearing two pairs of socks or, for those who have to wear humid work boots on the job regularly, getting anti-perspiration Botox injections or customized shoes.

Additionally, most countries now have a system called Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). This system catalogues information on chemicals, chemical compounds, and chemical mixtures. However sensible and practical this advice is, it is often complicated because many of the products go under different names and there is a general lack of product information at the point of purchase. This is more difficult with footwear as the relevant information is rarely displayed. Therefore, as usual, we advise to always see your doctor before you take any medications so you can obtain a proper diagnosis and treatment

Source credit|Not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide: http://footwearnews.com/2017/business/news/shoe-allergies-contact-dermatitis-foot-rash-452404/

 

Does the Ball of your Foot Hurt?

Ball of foot pain causes, diagnosis and treatment

The medical term for pain in the ball of the foot is metatarsalgia. It’s an umbrella term for a symptom that can have many possible causes, as opposed to a diagnosis in and of itself.

Those with metatarsalgia experience pain and inflammation in the padding directly below the toes, which is where we place the most pressure when standing and moving.

The pain is usually present in the metatarsal heads — the joint that is just under your toes — or the big toe. You may also experience shooting pain, numbness, and pain with flexing the toes. The pain may ease when you are off your feet and return when you resume your normal activities.

Ball of foot pain is relatively common and treatable in most cases, especially when the cause has been determined.

Causes

A person can develop metatarsalgia due to a number of factors, and it’s important to narrow down the cause in order to implement the best treatment. Metatarsalgia may be caused by:

  • intense physical activity
  • having a high arch or a second toe longer than the big toe
  • stress fractures
  • wearing high heels or shoes that are too small
  • hammer toe and bunions
  • being overweight
  • metatarsal joint pain or arthritis

In addition, there are some specific conditions that can cause ball of foot pain. In Morton’s neuroma, the area by the third and fourth toe is affected. This is caused by a thickening of the tissues around the nerves leading to the toes.

Freiberg disease can also be a cause. With this condition, part of the metatarsal head loses structural integrity, leading to collapse in the head of the second metatarsal and nearby joint.

Metatarsalgia can also be caused by sesamoiditis. Sesamoiditis is broken or inflamed pulley-like bones that are connected to tendons instead of other bones (like the knee cap). This condition is common in those with high physical activity, like ballet dancers or runners.

Diagnosis

Sometimes metatarsalgia goes away on its own after a few days. If your pain persists for more than two weeks, or if the pain is severe and accompanied with swelling or discoloration, be sure to see your doctor.

Your doctor will examine your foot, both while you’re standing and sitting. The doctor will ask you questions about your lifestyle, including how long you have to be on your feet each day, what type of shoes you generally wear, and if you’re involved in any new activity.

The doctor may also order an X-ray to determine whether you have a stress fracture. As with any foot injury or issue, let your doctor know if you have diabetes.

Treatment

There are many home remedies for metatarsalgia. If your symptoms aren’t caused by a larger issue, such as Freiberg disease or diabetes, your doctor will probably recommend some or all of the following. You should experience relief in a matter of days.

Rest your foot when you can, especially after periods of activity. Use an ice pack for 20-minute intervals, followed by 20 minutes off. The ice will help alleviate inflammation and reduce swelling.

Wear comfortable shoes. If you wear high heels, your doctor will probably recommend that you change your footwear. You’ll also want to make sure that your shoes fit properly. Tight shoes can cause your feet to not align properly while you stand and walk, creating improper balance.

Exercise. While you won’t want to participate in running or certain high-impact sports during this time, targeted stretches can ease pain and increase flexibility and strength. You’ll likely want to practice your stretches a few times a day until the pain is relieved.

Use orthotic inserts. Depending on the level of severity, your doctor may prescribe orthotic inserts or recommend commercial shoe inserts. Orthotic inserts can help align the foot and provide extra cushioning. A pad under the ball of the foot can ease pain as well.

Manage your body weight. Excess weight can put extra pressure on the balls of your feet, and lowering your weight can help relieve this strain. Your doctor can recommend management based on your lifestyle and any other health complications.

Take pain medication. Your doctor may suggest taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or another type of painkiller. If your case of metatarsalgia is severe, the doctor may also prescribe injectable steroids which you will receive in-office.

If your metatarsalgia is caused by a hammer toe, a pinched nerve, or a similar type of complication, an orthopedic surgeon or podiatrist may decide if corrective surgery is the best course of action. However, the treatments above cure ball of foot pain in most cases.

For excellent solutions to help you treat ball of foot pain go to http://www.aetrex.com/aetrex-orthotics-new

Outlook

Most cases of ball of foot pain can be resolved with treatment. Wearing comfortable shoes and maintaining a healthy weight can help prevent ball of foot pain. If your metatarsalgia is a result of physical exercise, let your foot rest as much as possible until the pain subsides.

In all cases, seek the advice of a medical professional. This will speed up your recovery, as you’ll be receiving cause-specific care.

 

6 Easy Tips to Keep Your Feet in Great Shape

Keeping your feet happy, healthy (and beautiful) all in one this winter is easy to do.

Here, New York podiatrist, Dr. Emily Splichal, has some easy cost-effective ways to optimize your foot health this season.

  • Take a polish vacation, suggests Dr. Splichal, in order to help rejuvenate nails. She recommends over-the-counter products such as Biotin, a dietary supplement often recommended for strengthening hair and nails. It’s part of the B complex group of vitamins and needed by the body to metabolize carbohydrates, fats and amino acids, the building blocks of protein.

 

  • Another, lesser known supplement, is black currant oil. According to Dr. Splichal, it contains a fatty acid that keeps nails moist. And, she added, vitamin C is always good for hair, skin and nail health.

 

  • For those planning to visit a podiatrist this season for a routine exam, Dr. Splichal noted Nuvail is a prescription lacquer applied to the nails to strengthen them.

 

  • Climate control is another source of concern during the colder months, when closed-toe footwear is typically worn. “In closed shoes, you want to combat sweating,” said Dr. Splichal. Brew some black tea and allow your feet to soak in it. “It has tannic acid that [helps] shrink sweat glands in the feet to prevent sweating,” she explained. “Soak your feet for 30 minutes every day for seven days.”

 

  • Dry heels are also a product of winter, said Dr. Splichal, who has a simple remedy: rub Vaseline onto heels after showering or bathing. It acts as a sealant that locks in moisture. For the most effectiveness, cover feet in plastic wrap overnight.

 

  • For those who want the full spa effect, try smoothing rough heels with a pumice stone. Here, Dr. Splichal suggests first softening the stone with water, then applying to the heels. If opting for a PedEgg foot file, keep feet dry as well before using. Here, a stainless steel micro file gently removes calluses and dead skin.

 

  • Hosiery can also play a part in foot health. Dr. Splichal suggests socks made with bamboo for breathability, or styles impregnated with silver or copper that exhibit antimicrobial features. While cotton is a natural fiber, Dr. Splichal said it absorbs sweat in socks rather than wicking moisture away.

Source credit | Not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide: http://footwearnews.com/2017/focus/womens/winter-foot-care-tips-414037/

Tips for Finding Proper Fitting Shoes for Your Child

One of the most important purchases on any parent’s shopping list should be a pair of proper fitting shoes for their child. For many parents, shoe shopping may seem to be a no brainer, but several important factors should be considered:

  • Children’s Feet Change Quickly with Age. Shoe and sock sizes may change every few months as a child’s feet grow.
  • Shoes That Don’t Fit Properly Can Aggravate the Feet. Always measure a child’s feet before buying shoes, and watch for signs of irritation.
  • Never Hand Down Footwear. Just because a shoe size fits one child comfortably doesn’t mean it will fit another the same way. Also, sharing shoes can spread fungi like athlete’s foot and nail fungus.
  • Examine the Heels. Children may wear through the heels of shoes quicker than outgrowing shoes themselves. Uneven heel wear can indicate a foot problem that should be checked by a podiatrist.
  • Take Your Child Shoe Shopping. Every shoe fits differently. Letting a kid have a say in the shoe buying process promotes healthy foot habits down the road.
  • Always Buy for the Larger Foot. Feet are seldom precisely the same size.
  • Buy Shoes That Do Not Need a “Break-In” Period. Shoes should be comfortable immediately. Also make sure to have your kid try on shoes with socks or tights, if that’s how they’ll be worn.

In the end, as with all health related issues taking preventative action will result in a better well being and help avoid unnecessary suffering and costs down the road.

Source credit| Not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide: http://www.apma.org/Learn/HealthyFeetTips.cfm?ItemNumber=9861

10 Tips for a Good Shoe Fit!

Years of wear and tear can be hard on our feet. So can disease, poor circulation, improperly trimmed toenails, and wearing shoes that don’t fit properly. Problems with our feet can be the first sign of more serious medical conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, and nerve and circulatory disorders.

Wearing comfortable shoes that fit well can prevent many foot ailments.

Here are ten tips for getting a proper shoe fit:

  1. The size of your feet changes as you grow older so always have your feet measured before buying shoes. The best time to measure your feet is at the end of the day when your feet are largest.
  2. Most of us have one foot that is larger than the other, so fit your shoe to your larger foot.
  3. Don’t select shoes by the size marked inside the shoe but by how the shoe fits your foot.
  4. Select a shoe that is shaped like your foot.
  5. During the fitting process, make sure there is enough space (3/8″ to 1/2″) for your longest toe at the end of each shoe when you are standing up.
  6. Make sure the ball of your foot fits comfortably into the widest part of the shoe.
  7. Don’t buy shoes that feel too tight and expect them to stretch to fit.
  8. Your heel should fit comfortably in the shoe with a minimum amount of slipping – the shoes should not ride up and down on your heel when you walk.
  9. Walk in the shoes to make sure they fit and feel right. Then take them home and spend some time walking on carpet to make sure the fit is a good one.
  10. The upper part of the shoes should be made of a soft, flexible material to match the shape of your foot. Shoes made of leather can reduce the possibility of skin irritations. Soles should provide solid footing and not be slippery. Thick soles cushion your feet when walking on hard surfaces. Low-heeled shoes are more comfortable, safer, and less damaging than high-heeled shoes.

And regarding buying winter boots…

Bring your own socks The ones you’re going to most likely use with the boots you’re going to buy. Additionally, if you use insoles or custom orthotics, bring them along, too.

Extra tip: For the best in comfort, health and technically superior footwear for all seasons, check out Aetrex at https://www.aetrex.com. – recognized and approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association.

Source material credit: https://www.onhealth.com/content/1/10_tips_for_a_good_shoe_fit.  Some of the information in the original article has been provided  by The National Institutes of Health (http://www.nih.gov).

Problems with Wet Socks

For many of us, ’tis the upcoming season of sidewalks filled with snow and slush as the temperatures rise and fall. If you don’t have a quality pair of shoes, water (not so clean as well) can make it’s way into your shoe and cause your socks to get wet. This is a mildly annoying feeling, but it can also lead to some negative consequences for your foot health.

Aside from being uncomfortable, wet socks can cause issues with your feet. They can lead to:

  1. Sores and Blisters – Wetness can increase the friction between the foot and the sock, and if it’s not taken care of, it can lead to sores and blisters on your feet.
  2. Rashes or Athlete’s Foot – Dampness is a breeding ground for bacteria, and rashes or fungus can develop if your feet are constantly in a wet sock or shoe. Keeping your feet dry can help prevent similar issues like athlete’s foot.
  3. Trench Foot – Named for soldiers whose feet were constantly exposed to cold and wet conditions, prolonged use of wet socks and shoes in the winter months can lead to damage to the skin, blood vessels and nerves in the feet. It can take months for your foot to heal, and it may never regain some sensations if damage is extreme enough.
  4. Frostbite – Similarly, if your socks are wet and you’re outside in very cold temperatures for long periods of time, you could develop frostbite on your toes. Sounds, extreme, but this can lead to permanent toe damage and the possible need to amputate the damaged toes.

Tips To Prevent Sock Wetness

Keeping your feet try comes down to planning ahead and being prepared for the elements. Follow these tips to help keep your feet dry this winter or anytime it’s wet outside.

  • Invest in a quality shoe or boot that doesn’t allow moisture in.
  • Change your socks any time they get wet.
  • Pack an extra pair of socks and shoes if you believe your feet might get wet
  • Routinely inspect your footwear cracks and holes, especially if you’re just pulling them out of the closet for the first time this season.
  • Try avoid puddles and slush when walking.
  • Contact a foot specialist if you believe you’re suffering from a wetness-related foot issue.

How To Prevent Fungal Infections

To prevent fungal infections take care to do the following:

– Choose smarter sock material. Cotton is comfortable but stores to much moisture.
Go with a merino wool or synthetic blend that “wicks” away sweat and moisture.

– Thoroughly dry your feet with a towel after showers, especially in between toes.

– Bring a change of socks to throw on halfway through the day. Or even keep a pair in
your office or car in case you get caught with soaked shoes so you at least keep your
feet warm and dry until you can get into a fesh pair of shoes.

– Alternating shoes to allow for complete drying between wears.

Excerpted source credit: https://www.anklefootmd.com/dangers-wet-socks/

Lance Silverman, MD. Dr. Lance Silverman is a board certified orthopaedic surgeon, with specialty training in the management of conditions of the ankle and foot. Learm more at https://www.anklefootmd.com/

Do You Overpronate When You Walk or Run?

Normal walking can be divided into two phases: stance and swing. Stance is the time that your foot is in contact with the ground. This is when problems usually occur. Swing is the time the opposite, non weight bearing foot is in the air.

Diagnosing overpronation relies more on looking at how you walk or run than where your pain is located.

What is Overpronation?

Pronation is a normal part of walking or running. When the outside edge of your heel hits the ground, it supinates—or locks—to deal with the shockwave. Your foot then rolls in a bit and your heel moves outward. Together, these actions cause you to pronate—or unlock. Pronation helps you absorb shock and adapt to uneven surfaces.

But if your foot rolls too far inward, like many people, you overpronate.

Overpronation can cause problems throughout your body. Why? Because the foot isn’t properly absorbing the shock of your stride—instead passing that shock on to your legs, knees, hips, and even spine.

Overpronating also forces the inner toes to take on all the work of pushing off for your next step. That can lead to injury or other foot problems including plantar fasciitis, bunions and calluses.

People with flat feet, low arches, or overly flexible arches tend to overpronate. Because your arches can’t support your step, your foot rolls too far inward, twisting your foot, leg, and knee and forcing your body out of proper alignment.

Other factors that may contribute to overpronation include:

  • Injury.
  • Tendonitis.
  • Arthritis.
  • Weight increase.
  • Aging.
Think you might overpronate? Try this simple 3-part self-assessment quiz.

Question #1: Do I have:

  • Pain in my feet, legs, knees, hips, or back after walking or running?
  • Unusual tightness in my leg muscles?
  • Recurring problems with bunions or calluses?

If you answered “yes” to any of these, you show symptoms that may be caused by overpronation. Are you at a high risk for overpronating.

Question #2:  Do I have:

  • Flat feet or low arches?
  • Tendonitis?
  • Arthritis?

If you answered yes to any of these, it’s possible your symptoms stem from overpronating. Now, pull out a well-worn pair of your running or
walking shoes. Try this last self- assessment quiz.

Question #3: Do your shoes:

  • Show uneven, heavier wear on the inside edge of the sole (especially on the heel, midfoot, and the ball of the foot)?
  • Tilt inward when placed on a flat surface?

If you answered yes to either of these, you probably overpronate. Make an appointment with a podiatrist to confirm your condition.

The good news is Overpronation is quite common and very correctable. But left unchecked, it could cause:
  • Degenerative wear and tear and chronic discomfort in the knees, hips, or spine
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Repetitive injuries
  • Stress fractures
  • Arthritis
How do I treat and prevent overpronation?

Overpronation may just be part of your natural gait. But you can correct it—and avoid the many associated effects—with some simple measures. Your podiatrist will help you determine the best steps for you. For general foot health it’s best to wear shoes with:

  1. Good arch support
  2. Firm midsoles
  3. Deep heel cups
  4. Low heels

Lastly, if you want to help prevent future stress on your feet be sure to see https://www.aetrex.com – recognized and approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association– for top style and comfort in footwear.

Source material excerpted from https://www.footsmart.com/health-resource-center/foot/pronation. See this link to learn more and full credit

Tips to Keep Feet Happy this Holiday Season

Holiday shopping, decorating, parties and traveling are all part of our holiday revelries. But while you’re making all that merriment, how happy are your feet?

You may be doing a lot of walking, dancing, standing and sitting in one position throughout the holiday season. Half of all Americans report experiencing foot pain at some point in their lives, according to a survey conducted by American Podiatric Medical Association. No one wants soreness or injuries to slow them down during the holidays, so it’s important to care for your feet so they can carry you through all those seasonal celebrations and chores.

Follow this advice to keep feet healthy (and happy) this holiday season:

  • Moisturize– Dry winter air and cold temperatures can take a toll on skin. Moisturize feet daily to help avoid dry, cracked and irritated skin.
  • Exercise your feet – Stretching is a good way to avoid muscle cramps. Stave off toe cramps by raising, pointing and curling your toes for five seconds. Repeat 10 times. Rotating your ankles can also help relax feet. Cup your heel and turn each ankle slowly five times to loosen ankle joints.
  • Massage – Foot rubs not only feel good, they’re a great way to release tension, boost circulation and refresh skin after a long day on your feet. Take a few minutes to massage your feet at the end of a day of shopping and celebrating. Use lotion and take care of moisturizing at the same time!
  • Pedicure properly – Picture-perfect toes are part of a great holiday wardrobe for many women. Whether you do it yourself or go to a salon, be sure your pedicure is done properly. Never use a razor to remove dead skin – opt for a good pumice stone instead. Don’t cut cuticles; push them back gently with a rubber tool made for this purpose. Use toenail clippers with a straight edge to cut nails straight across.
  • Raise your legs – Feet and ankles can swell from sitting too long in one position (taking a long flight to grandma’s house for the holidays, for example) or if you’ve been on your feet all day (shopping, baking or cooking). Elevate your legs to reduce swelling. Lay or sit and lift your legs above your heart.
  • Wear smart shoes – OK, so you’ll never give up your sparkly high heels when it’s time for that special soiree. But for other holiday activities such as shopping, traveling or cooking, ditch the high heels. When you know you’ll be on your feet all day, wear comfortable shoes with good arch support and a padded sole.
  • Get help – Feet shouldn’t hurt all the time. Persistent foot pain can be an indication of injury, irritation or illness. See a podiatrist if you experience pain; don’t wait until the holidays end.

Excerpted from American Podiatric Medical Association, Inc. | Not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide

For more info: http://www.apma.org/Learn/HealthyFeetTips.cfm?ItemNumber=9850

All You Need to Know About Gout

Gout is a general term for a variety of arthritic conditions caused by a buildup of uric acid. This buildup usually affects your feet. If you have gout, you will probably feel swelling and pain in the joints of your foot, particularly your big toe. Sudden and intense pain, or gout attacks, can make it feel like your foot’s on fire.

The condition was first identified as early as 2,640 BC by the ancient Egyptians; But, despite its long history, gout remains a major public health concern, with an increasing number of people suffering from what can be an extremely painful condition.

Fortunately, gout is treatable and there are preventative measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of developing the painful condition.

Symptoms of gout

There are four stages of gout: asymptomatic hyperuricemia, acute gout, interval gout, and chronic tophaceous gout. These stages vary in symptoms and treatment.

Hyperuricemia happens when you have too much uric acid in your blood. If you have no other symptoms, it’s called asymptomatic hyperuricemia.

Acute gout happens when hyperuricemia causes uric acid crystals to develop in one of your joints. It causes intense pain and swelling, and your joint may also feel warm. You may experience multiple acute gout attacks over a period of months or years.

Interval gout is the period between acute gout attacks. It’s also called intercritical gout. You won’t have any symptoms during this stage.

Chronic tophaceous gout can happen if you leave your gout untreated. It can take 10 years or longer to develop. In this stage, hard nodules (tophi) develop in your joints and the skin and soft tissue surrounding them. Tophi can also develop in other parts of your body, such as your ears. They can cause permanent damage to your joints.

Causes of gout

Gout is a complex disease. There are a variety of factors that can play a role in causing it. Certain conditions, such as blood and metabolism disorders, can cause your body to produce too much uric acid. Drinking too much alcohol can also lead to excess uric acid.

Certain foods can also cause gout when you eat too much of them. These include:

  • shellfish
  • red meat
  • organ meat
  • sweet juices
  • salt

You can also develop gout if your body isn’t eliminating uric acid properly. If you’re dehydrated or starved, it can make it difficult for your body to excrete uric acid. This causes it to build up as deposits in your joints.

Diagnosing gout
Your doctor can make a diagnosis of gout based on a review of your medical history, a physical exam, and your symptoms. Your doctor will likely base your diagnosis on your description of your joint pain, how often you’ve experienced intense pain in your joint, and how red or swollen the area is.

Treating gout
In most cases, your regular doctor can treat your gout. If you have severe complications or develop chronic tophaceous gout, your doctor may refer you to a rheumatologist. This type of doctor specializes in arthritis.

Your doctor may prescribe medications, such as:

  • colchicine to reduce pain in your joint
  • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or naproxen, to reduce inflammation and pain in your joint
  • corticosteroids, such as prednisone, to reduce inflammation and pain in your joint
  • medications to reduce your body’s production of uric acid, such as allopurinol
  • medications to help your body eliminate uric acid, such as probenecid

Complications of gout

If left untreated, gout can eventually cause tophi to develop near your inflamed joints. This can lead to arthritis.

Preventing gout

You can take many steps to help prevent gout. For example:

  • Limit how much alcohol you drink.
  • Limit how much purine-rich food, such as shellfish, lamb, beef, pork, and organ meat, you eat.
  • Eat a low-fat, nondairy diet that’s rich in vegetables.
  • Lose weight.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Exercise.
  • Stay hydrated.

Have Ankle Pain? Could Be a Sprain

We all know how easy it is to twist and ankle or foot especially this time of year with extreme weather, activities and all around hustle and bustle. Take this advice on how to keep safe and learn the proper treatment just in case.

What Are the Symptoms of an Ankle Sprain?

You may have a sprained ankle if you notice the following symptoms in the ankle:

  • swelling
  • tenderness
  • bruising
  • pain
  • inability to put weight on the affected ankle
  • skin discoloration
  • stiffness

The ankle can sustain many different types of injuries. It’s important to see your doctor when you’re experiencing problems with your ankle. Your doctor can determine whether the injury is a sprain or something more severe.

What is ankle sprain exactly

So what actually happens when you sprain your ankle? You stretch or tear the ligaments—the bands of tissue that hold your bones together—usually on the outside of the ankle.

The good news is that most sprains are minor and will heal, given time and proper treatment. The bad news is that once you have sprained your ankle, you are prone to more sprains.

Ankle sprains are classified by severity:

  • Grade 1 – A mild sprain with no tearing of the ligaments, minor swelling, and some pain while walking.
  • Grade 2 – A moderate sprain with partial tearing of the ligaments, noticeable swelling, bruising, and difficulty walking.
  • Grade 3 – A severe sprain with complete tearing of the ligaments, sharp pain, severe swelling, internal bleeding, and the inability to walk.

Most ankle sprains are minor and clear up through home treatment. But Grade 2 and 3 sprains should be seen and treated by a podiatrist or doctor. Severe swelling or pain can be a sign of internal bleeding, full ligament rupture, or broken or fractured bones.

If you have a Grade 2 or 3 sprain, a doctor or podiatrist should help treat you. If you have a Grade 1 sprain, start off by following the classic RICE principle:

  • Rest: Put your physical activity on hold and keep your weight off the ankle as much as possible. Use crutches to get around if necessary.
  • Ice: Ice your ankle for about 20 minutes every few hours for the first few days, tapering down until your symptoms are gone.
  • Compression: Wrap your ankle in an elastic bandage to keep down swelling and provide support.
  • Elevation: Prop your ankle up on a pillow when you are sitting or lying down.

You can also take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication to help with pain and swelling.

Note that if you don’t treat your ankle sprain properly, not only will you be prone to frequent future sprains but you may also develop a condition called chronic ankle instability. Make sure you get proper medical attention and treatment for your sprain.

First, concentrate on healing the damage so you can get back on your feet. This may take as long as 4 to 8 weeks, depending on the severity of the sprain. Be patient and don’t rush your recovery—returning to activity too soon risks chronic ankle pain, instability, and other problems.

When your ankle no longer hurts and feels as strong as the other ankle, you are ready to resume your normal activities. But even after one sprain, your ankle is now weaker and prone to further sprains, so you’ll want to take some extra preventative measures:

Reference source| Not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide: https://www.footsmart.com/health-resource-center/leg/ankle-sprains?ailmentBodyPartId=64