A Guide to Treating Common Leg and Foot Injuries

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Because we are constantly reliant on our legs they are more at risk of minor injuries. Nearly everyone has twisted their ankle, if not sprained it. Although such injuries can be relatively common, we are often at a loss when we need to treat and recover our legs and feet. Thankfully, there are many easy ways you can treat these common foot and leg problems.

Sprained Ankle

A foot and leg injury many people have to deal with at some point is a sprained ankle. Sometimes spraining your ankle is as simple as taking an awkwardly placed step. The injury is caused when the ankle moves inward as the foot moves forward simultaneously. This causes damage to the ligaments inside the ankle, and it can cause extreme pain. Treating a sprained ankle can include using ice, elevating your ankle and using compression wraps. However, for more extreme cases, you should see an ankle care doctor.

Bunions

One of the most common foot issues many people have to deal with is having bunions. Bunions are bumps that develop on the base of a toe, usually the big toe. They can cause discomfort from soreness and develop a red color. You can treat bunions with ice. However, for a long term solution, you should find more comfortable shoes that do not press against and chafe the bunion as much. Shoe inserts can also help reduce the pain you feel from them. If you make sure your shoes are the right size and comfortable on your feet, it will go a long way towards treating and preventing bunions. In fact, bunions are most often caused by wearing narrow-toed footwear.

Stress Fractures

Another foot injury many people endure is a stress fracture. These are tiny cracks in a bone, and they can be extremely painful. They are common among runners, especially those who might be carrying heavy loads or running extremely long distances. But even relatively low-stress exercise can cause stress fractures, if you are starting a new exercise routine. Stress fractures should heal on their own if you avoid re-injury. In certain cases, you may need to wear a special boot to protect the foot. The best way to treat stress fractures is to prevent them, by strengthening your bones through a calcium and vitamin D heavy diet, exercising carefully and within your abilities, and wearing proper shoes.

Knee Ligament Injury

Another trouble spot on the legs for many people is their knees. Knee ligament injuries, for one, are very common. Much like a sprained ankle, injuring the ligaments in your knee can be very painful and put you on the shelf for some time. There are, in fact, four knee ligaments you can injure. These are the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL), Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL), Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL), and Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL). Each injury can occur under different circumstances.

An ACL injury, for example, usually occurs after a sudden twisting motion, while a PCL is located towards the back of the knee, and thus usually gets injured from a sudden hit. Treating such an injury requires a lot of rest, compression (preferably with ice), and elevating your leg. If it is serious enough, a doctor might proscribe some light physical therapy and/or a protective knee brace.

Whatever your exact case, you should limit your exercise until you are fully healed. Foot and leg injuries are all too common. They can be painful, annoying and inhibit your ability to walk and function as normal. Thankfully, almost all of them are easily treatable. Consult your doctor to make sure you are treating them correctly and thoroughly.