For some reason I can’t quite figure out, people are tempted to ignore foot pain, assuming they can’t possibly be injured. I’ve heard way too many suggestions of “walking off” injuries when those who are hurting clearly need medical attention.
I want people to stop self-treating their foot and ankle injuries: this practice only leads to long-term pain, re-injury and worsening of symptoms. With that goal in mind, here are 4 sure-fire ways to know you’ve injured your foot or ankle. If you experience any of these, make an appointment with your podiatrist right away.
- Visible redness or swelling: Any change in the outward appearance of your foot or ankle, from redness to bruising or swelling, is a good indication of injury.
- Pain that worsens when active: If you have a dull ache in your foot that becomes agonizingly painful when you try to stand or walk, chances are you’ve hurt yourself badly enough to seek medical treatment.
- Sharp pain: Injury related pain tends to stab or burn; the pain of less serious discomfort just feels different. If you can’t tell the difference, err on the side of caution.
- Pain that sticks around: If the pain in your foot hasn’t eased up after two days of taking it easy, chances are you’ve hurt yourself badly enough to warrant seeing your podiatrist.
You typically know when you’ve hurt your foot—sometimes you just don’t want to face facts. I know you think it’s easier to just rest at home and wait out a foot or ankle injury, but I promise you, it’s not. If you notice any of the four signs I mentioned, seeing your podiatrist will likely save you months of pain and disability.