You may think that your foot or ankle injury is just a minor issue. You might say, “I just twisted my ankle; it’ll heal quickly.”
However, any pain persisting longer than a few days could be something of concern, and we wrote a whole blog to share why!
Here are four reasons you shouldn’t wait to see a podiatrist about your foot or ankle pain:
1. The pain could be more than just a pulled muscle.
That crunch and tumble on the tennis court may actually be a sprained ankle while that shooting pain may be the start of a neuroma, AKA a pinched nerve. These are injuries or conditions that will not heal if you maintain your usual routine around the pain, and can worsen without proper rest or treatment.
Never assume that you know what the problem is or “prescribe” yourself the right treatments without consulting a professional, as there are many injuries you can’t see externally. Oftentimes you need the help of an MRI machine and an expert eye.
2. Left untreated, otherwise, short-term recovery could lead to chronic pain.
It’s not uncommon for those with foot or ankle pain to brush it off or ignore it. Although sometimes the severity of the pain may diminish, ignoring the injury can lead to long-term implications.
You may unknowingly be walking around with a stress fracture, which requires a minimum of two to eight weeks of mindful rest and oftentimes a cast to properly heal. If you don’t allow the break to repair itself, you may develop deeper cracks in the bone, and in some cases require surgery to correct.
Or, that heel pain may not seem too bad now, but it could develop into a form of tendonitis, which left untreated will further irritate your tendon or cause tiny tears in the tissue. These are just a few examples of how ignoring a small injury now can lead to bigger problems later!
3. Long-term injury could cause other issues beyond foot or ankle pain.
You may think that the worst that will happen if you ignore your foot or ankle pain is more foot or ankle pain, but that’s far from the truth! Not only can your injury cause symptoms to worsen in the affected area, but it can also cause pain in new areas.
Consider the common injuries runners suffer from. Long-distance runners often irritate their plantar fasciitis, the ligament that holds up your arch and runs along the bottom of your foot, which can shoot pain up their legs.
Or those with misaligned feet can feel pain beyond their lower extremities, reaching their back or higher and causing insufferable aching. Your foot and ankle nerves run far upwards and can cause lower back or hip pain.
4. Those with pre-existing conditions may be putting themselves at higher risk.
Certain individuals are subject to higher risk than others when it comes to foot and ankle pain. For example, those with diabetes are more prone to develop dangerous foot ulcers. They also commonly experience foot numbness, which can make it difficult for them to feel the true severity of the pain and seek proper care.
Individuals who are excessively overweight can also develop chronic pain if foot or ankle injuries are left untreated. The extra pressure on these regions can develop into plantar heel problems, slow-building foot flattening or even stress fractures without high impact activity.
Those with pre-existing concerns should never wait to see a podiatrist about foot or ankle pain!
Better Safe Than Sorry
You’ll never know what the true problem is until you see a foot care professional, who can properly diagnose with the help of an MRI machine or their years of expertise.
Luckily, we’ve got a full team ready to help. Visit our contact page to make a quick appointment or give us a call today at 239.936.5400.
Categorized in: Blog