The bones and muscles that support the foot and ankle comprise a highly complex network of tissues. Together, they enable the feet to bear the entire weight of the body while permitting movement, but their high-impact role also means that they are prone to injury.
The feet and ankles can get hurt from sudden accidents or from gradual wear and tear. While surgery is an option for treating debilitating foot injuries or chronic foot and ankle pain, nonsurgical options are oftentimes the better choice.
Let’s talk about some of the most effective nonsurgical treatments for foot and ankle pain that can help you achieve excellent results with minimal cost.
The RICE Method
This has nothing to do with the rice you eat but is rather an acronym for four main things to do while healing a musculoskeletal injury. RICE stands for:
…of the injured area. This technique addresses musculoskeletal injuries to protect against further damage and to provide pain relief as quickly as possible. The RICE treatment method mitigates inflammation while alleviating pain and allowing the area to heal.
Even the most obedient patients find it hard to keep their damaged foot and ankle entirely at rest. An easy way to ensure complete immobilization of the area is to use physical restraints, such as an ankle brace.
If any bones were broken in the foot or the ankle, the physician may apply a cast on the injured area. There are cases when doctors employ both a cast and a brace to ensure a secure fit around the foot and ankle in a nonsurgical treatment method.
Immobilizing the joint prevents you from using the damaged joint, thereby allowing any broken tissue to heal without interruption. Keep in mind that immobilization will cause the muscles to weaken during the recovery period, so you may observe a temporary decrease in muscle quality and size. However, physical therapy will help your muscles to regain their original strength once the injury is fully healed.
Custom orthotics are a sophisticated solution to chronic foot and ankle pain. They are external devices which modify and assist the functions of muscular and skeletal structures of the foot by providing special cushioning that is shaped to conform to your own foot. These are usually either custom shoe inserts or customized shoes.
In order for a patient to have custom orthotics, a doctor first captures photos and/or digital scans of your foot. Your foot measurements are taken by technicians to create orthotics that will fit you perfectly and provide ideal support and comfort when walking and standing. You will first try them on in the doctor’s office to ensure optimum fit.
Foot and Ankle Doctors in Central Maryland
For best results, choose an orthopedic facility that can help you determine the best treatment option for you. Our medical team at the Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland Foot & Ankle Care is ready to serve you at any of our locations in Catonsville, Columbia, and Eldersburg.
If you would like more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors, call us today at (410) 644-1880 or (855) 4MD-BONE (463-2663), or fill out our easy-to-use appointment request form online now. We look forward to helping you get back on your feet!