Though activity levels vary for every individual, sprains to the foot are widely common and can occur during even the mildest of movements. With that being said, how does one identify a foot sprain, and when is it necessary to see a doctor?
If you’re curious to learn about sprains for future protection, or are currently dealing with a potential foot sprain, these are valuable questions to ask. By recognizing the signs that indicate foot sprains, we can become proactive and aware of our need for medical attention during an injury.
Keep reading to learn more about common and severe foot sprains and how to address them!
What is a Sprained Foot?
A sprained foot occurs when an impact or awkward movement tears your ligament. Ligaments surround and protect our bones throughout each of our feet. The degree of ligament damage can range from mild to severe depending on the nature of the injury.
Three Levels of Sprained Foot Symptoms
Understanding the three common levels of a sprained foot is a helpful introduction to the injury. A sprained foot will range from a grade I to a grade III, with each grade representing a milder or deeper stage of injury. Let's take a look at what each level indicates and the sprained foot symptoms associated with each one.
This grade is the mildest form of injury and includes a mild tear of the ligament. Low-grade foot sprains will often heal on their own with mild to moderate activity.
A grade II foot sprain obtains moderate ligament tears. With this sprain level, individuals may need to refrain from physical activity, though they may not require serious medical attention.
A grade III sprain is the most severe type of ligament tear. Under this circumstance, the ligament becomes completely detached and separate from the bones of the foot.
Different levels of medical intervention are necessary depending on each type of foot sprain. If you think you are experiencing a severe sprain or ligament tear, get in touch with your doctor as soon as possible. Though mild sprains are not as serious, professional medical guidance can still help you navigate healing.
3 Signs You Should See Your Doctor For A Sprained Foot
As we’ve learned, sprained feet range from mild to moderate, to severe. A mild sprain can heal on its own, though specific circumstances may require support. In contrast, moderate to severe sprains that cause immobility and intense pain typically require medical attention. Here are 3 signs you should see your doctor for your sprained foot.
- Your foot begins to tingle or become numb
- The pain in your foot suddenly worsens
- Your foot does not seem to be improving or healing as it should
Sprained Foot Symptoms to Be Aware of
In addition to recognizing grades of foot sprains, familiarizing oneself with various foot sprain symptoms can help determine the need for medical care. Sprained foot symptoms can vary depending on the severity of each injury, and often require different degrees of care. Some symptoms of a sprained foot include but are not limited to:
- Pain and sensitivity at the arch of the foot
- Bruising and swelling
- Pain when walking or engaging normal movements of the foot
- The inability to put weight on the foot
Though symptoms of a sprained foot can be widespread and diverse, these are the most common symptoms you may encounter.
Diablo Foot & Ankle: Your Walnut Creek Podiatrist
If you live in the Walnut Creek, California area and need a qualified podiatrist, Diablo Foot & Ankle is here to help. Contact the team today to schedule your appointment for comprehensive foot and ankle care.
Common Podiatry Questions
What is a Podiatrist?
A podiatrist is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the foot and ankle.
What does a Podiatrist treat?
A podiatrist is a doctor who specializes in the medical and surgical care of the feet. They can treat conditions such as ingrown toenails, fungal toenails, bunions, hammertoes, and plantar fasciitis.
What’s the difference between a Podiatrist and Orthopedist?
A Podiatrist and Orthopedist are very similar to each other in many ways. They use most of the same tools and treat a lot of the same conditions. The main difference between the two is their medical training. Podiatrists are trained exclusively on the foot and ankle, whereas the Orthopedic is trained on the whole body with an additional year of training on the foot and ankle.