How to Care for Common Foot Injuries

April 1, 2023

Seeing a reliable podiatrist is a good foot health practice that is key to a healthy and active lifestyle. Most people forget to care for their feet until they suffer an injury or develop a condition like plantar fasciitis or ankle sprains. Knowing how to recognize foot injuries and the best way to treat them preserves your mobility and avoids future problems. Here are a few common foot injuries and how to care for them:

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a common foot injury affecting the tissue band that connects the heel bone to the toes. It is characterized by inflammation of the plantar fascia. The condition is usually caused by overuse or excessive strain on the foot, such as running or jumping. Plantar fasciitis can cause heel pain that worsens with activity. 

Treatment for plantar fasciitis includes rest, ice, and stretching exercises. You can also insert orthotics in shoes to support the foot arch and help reduce strain on the plantar fascia.

Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains are one of the most common foot injuries, mostly among athletes. Ankle sprains and foot injuries can be painful and debilitating, but they heal quickly with proper care. 

Reduce swelling and pain by elevating the leg above heart level and applying ice to the area for a few minutes several times a day. Wrap the ankle in an elastic bandage to help support it and reduce movement. 

Keep weight off the injured foot or ankle as much as possible while it heals by using crutches or a cane. You may need a removable cast or brace for support if the sprain is severe. Once the swelling has gone down,  start doing ankle strengthening exercises as soon as possible to help prevent future injuries. Stretching before and after activity will also help reduce strain on the injured area and improve flexibility.

Ingrown Toenails

If you develop an ingrown toenail, try soaking the foot in warm water for several minutes a few times daily. After soaking, gently lift the corner of the ingrown nail away from the skin with a Q-tip, and put petroleum jelly or antibiotic ointment on the area. If there is any pus, redness, pain, or swelling, seek medical attention immediately to prevent infection.

To help reduce pain and swelling, you can also apply a cold compress to the area or take an over-the-counter pain reliever. If the ingrown toenail is still causing discomfort, you may need to see a podiatrist who can remove all or part of the nail.

Blisters and Calluses

Blisters and calluses occur when the skin on the foot becomes inflamed or irritated due to friction, pressure, or excessive use. They can be caused by wearing tight shoes, long-distance running or walking, or sports-related activities. 

If a blister or callus does appear, resist the temptation to burst it. Cover it with a bandage, and consider using a pad or cushion for relief. If you must make the callus smaller, only do so with a pumice stone or emery board after soaking your feet in warm water. 

Take the time to moisturize your feet regularly. A moisturizer after showering or bathing can help keep the skin soft and prevent further irritation. Wear comfortable shoes and socks that fit correctly.

Visit a Podiatrist for Healthy and Pain-free Feet

Taking care of your feet helps in maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle. Know how to recognize and treat common foot injuries like plantar fasciitis, ankle sprains, ingrown toenails, blisters, and calluses. Seeking the help of a reliable podiatrist for treatment and advice is highly recommended. Regular visits to a podiatrist can help prevent and treat foot injuries so your feet remain healthy and pain-free.


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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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