What to Do if You Sprained Your Foot

What to Do if You Sprained Your Foot Twin Boro

If you have ever hurt your foot, you know that the moment of injury can be quite painful, overwhelming and frustrating. Learn about the differences between common foot injuries, common types of sprains and what to do if you sprained your foot.

Sprained Foot vs Strained Foot vs Broken Foot 

A sprained foot occurs when ligaments in the foot are injured, whereas injuring of foot muscles and tendons is a strained foot.  Ligaments are bands of fibrous tissue connecting bones of joints for stability of each joint. Tendons cross joints attaching muscles of one side of the joint to the other.  Movement of a joint is achieved when the muscle pulls on the tendon bringing the bones of the joint closer together.

Sprains typically occur when the foot twists or bends abnormally. Common symptoms include swelling and tenderness in the center of the foot and/or local bruising.

A strain, on the other hand, occurs when a muscle gets stretched too far. Both sprains and strains are very painful but are often less serious than a broken bone, fracture.  However, the pain can be as severe as a fracture. Ruling out a fracture is an important first step for recovering from a foot injury.

If you think you broke a bone in your foot, you may be able to tell by asking yourself a few questions:

  • Did you hear a snapping or crunching sound when you got hurt?
  • Are you unable to move your foot?
  • Is the area near the bone swollen?
  • Is the foot bent the wrong way?
  • Is the bone sticking out?

If you’re unsure what kind of injury you’re dealing with, it’s important to seek the advice of your doctor.

Determining the Type of a Sprained Foot

A sprained foot usually involves one of two areas: the midfoot sprain and the first metatarsophalangeal joint sprain of the first or big toe.

The Midfoot Sprain

A midfoot sprain commonly occurs in individuals who fall, collide or abnormally twist their midfoot. Athletes who tend to be at the highest risk for experiencing a sprained foot include basketball players, dancers, competitive divers, football players, baseball players and windsurfers.

First Metatarsophalangeal Joint

The first metatarsophalangeal joint sprain, commonly referred to as ‘turf toe,’ is commonly seen in ballet dancers and football players who compete on artificial turf. In a ballet dancer, for example, if they lose their balance and falls forward they could hyperextend the big toe, leading to a sprain.

Can You Walk on a Sprained Foot?

One of the most common questions we get regarding what to do if you sprained your foot is whether or not you can walk on it.

Initially upon suffering a foot injury, follow the PRICE principles. PRICE is an acronym that stands for:

Protect- Protect the foot to avoid further injury and avoid pain.  

Rest- Rest to promote healing.  

Ice- Ice the foot to minimize inflammation.  

Compress- Compression to the foot to reduce swelling.  

Elevate- Elevate the foot higher than the heart to aid healing

These basic first aid measures can greatly decrease the severity of an injury. Minimizing the related impairments goes a long way in decreasing the duration needed to recover. The next step is to seek out health care professionals including physical therapists experienced in the care of foot injuries.  

Physical therapy consists of an examination and evaluation of the foot to determine the current impairments, limitations, and restrictions. Interventions are then utilized to decrease these and achieve the functional goals. Combination of manual therapy and exercise delivered by qualified physical therapists has been shown to be effective in recovering from foot injuries.

Find Treatment for a Sprained Foot in NJ

At Twin Boro, we use an advanced One2Four physical therapy technique to treat the whole patient. Whether you’re youth athlete, weekend warrior or busy professional, our goal is to help you move better and feel like yourself again.

Call us at 1-877-304-3000 or schedule an appointment to learn more about treatment for a sprained foot in New Jersey.

Why Choose Twin Boro Physical Therapy

Voted Readers’ Choice Best of New Jersey, Twin Boro has provided NJ residents with high quality physical therapy and rehab for over 38 years! It’s our award-winning approach, proven results and reputation that sets us apart. By incorporating the One2Four program into each patient’s program, the latest and most reliable scientific research and techniques are incorporated into effective evidence-based practice. We deliver only the highest standard of care with the unique One2Four approach.

It’s no surprise that Twin Boro Physical Therapy has also been voted the best physical therapy practice in New Jersey by the readers of mycentraljersey.com.

We have 23 convenient locations

We love being close to our patients. Find out which of our premier facilities is nearest you!

VIew a list of all locations