Here are the best strategies to follow to achieve a full recovery from a sprained ankle.
A sprained ankle is incredibly common and can happen to anyone. Whether you stepped off the curb awkwardly or you twisted your ankle while running, there are many reasons that you may find yourself dealing with a sprained ankle; however, it’s important that you don’t just ignore your symptoms. Here’s when to treat an ankle at home and when you should visit our Gainesville, VA, podiatrist, Dr. Mukesh Bhakta, for a proper evaluation.
Treating Your Ankle Sprain at Home
As you might expect, you want to reduce pain and swelling as quickly as possible after an ankle injury. Practice the RICE method to do so:
Rest is, by far, the most important thing you can do to help your ankle heal quickly. Avoid putting weight on the ankle and keep your ankle elevated above your heart while sitting down (this can reduce swelling). You should also wrap an ice pack (or a frozen bag of a pea, if you don’t have an ice pack) with a towel and apply it to the ankle for 15-20 minutes up to five times a day. Icing the ankle can temporarily numb the pain and reduce swelling.
When to See a Podiatrist
If you’ve never sprained your ankle before it’s probably a good idea to see a medical professional who can properly diagnose the injury. After all, you may think it’s just a sprain, but it could actually be a more serious condition. It’s important to rule out other problems such as fractures or dislocations.
You should see a podiatrist right away if:
- Pain and swelling are severe
- You are unable to put weight on the affected ankle
- There is a visible deformity in the ankle after injury
- You heard a popping sound at the moment of impact or injury
- There is tingling, numbness, or weakness in the foot or ankle
Since a sprained ankle is more at risk for future sprains, it’s important that you follow your podiatrist’s treatment plan exactly. Our team can provide a variety of stretching and strengthening exercises designed to retrain the muscles, ligaments, and tissues within and around the ankle to prevent future injuries.
If you are dealing with urgent problems or a foot infection, our podiatrist is still providing immediate and emergency care to patients living in and around Gainesville, VA. We are also offering telemedicine visits for patients who are dealing with non-urgent issues. To schedule an appointment, please call Prince William Foot & Ankle Center at (703) 753-3338.
Sometimes certain foot problems and symptoms require an expert’s opinion.
Our feet work so incredibly hard for us each and every day and yet we don’t often recognize all that they do until they start to cause us problems. Before we know it everyday activities like going upstairs or enjoying your morning run cause you pain. Our Gainesville, VA, podiatrist, Dr. Mukesh Bhakta, provides individualized foot and ankle care to patients of all ages. Whether you are dealing with simple problems like ingrown toenails or more serious matters like diabetes here are some instances in which you should turn to our podiatrist for care.
Pain and Swelling
There are many injuries and conditions that can lead to foot pain or swelling. While more minor conditions can be treated with rest and home care, it’s important to know when to see a podiatrist. If the pain and swelling is severe, if the pain gets worse or if these symptoms impact your ability to walk normally then it’s time to see a doctor.
Numbness and Tingling
While you may notice your feet “going to sleep” when sitting in a certain position if you notice recurring numbness, tingling or weakness that affects the whole foot this could be a sign of something more serious such as neuropathy (nerve damage). This requires immediate medical attention.
A Lump or Deformity
There are many types of lumps and bumps that can form on the feet; however, we are talking about the lumps and growths that don’t seem to go away such as bunions, warts, or neuromas. While most of these problems are benign, it’s a good idea to find out what’s going on, especially if you are experiencing any discomfort.
You Have Diabetes
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes it’s important that you add our Gainesville, VA, foot doctor to your team of doctors so that we can provide you with customized care and treatment when you need it. After all, diabetes can greatly impact the health of your feet and even small problems like cuts, blisters, and redness can lead to more serious complications. Having a podiatrist you trust is crucial for people living with diabetes.
If you have any concerns about the health of your feet or you are dealing with problems that give you pause, our team at Prince William Foot & Ankle Center can provide you with the answers and care you need right here in Gainesville and South Riding, VA. Call our office today at (703) 753-3338.
Heel pain can be a nasty problem. Here’s when you should seek medical attention…
If you are struggling with your heel pain or dealing with recurring or persistent pain in the heel or foot it may be time to turn to our Gainesville, VA, podiatrist Dr. Mukesh Bhakta for diagnosis and treatment. After all, there are many reasons why you may be dealing with heel pain and the root cause could also determine the most effective treatment for you. Don’t let pain keep you from enjoying your favorite activities.
What causes heel pain?
You may notice that your pain shows up gradually over time. This is usually the case with heel pain, as it’s often a result of overuse rather than an injury. The most common cause of heel pain is a condition known as plantar fasciitis, which causes pain below the heel bone that may also affect the arches of the feet. Other causes of heel pain include:
- Achilles tendinitis
- Heel spur
- An infection
- Tumor (rare)
When should I see a doctor?
The sooner you seek treatment the sooner your pain will go away; however, most people will choose to treat more minor symptoms on their own just by resting, icing and taking over-the-counter pain relievers; however, you should turn to our Gainesville, VA, podiatrist if your:
- Heel pain doesn’t improve after a week of rest and home care
- Pain continues to get worse
- Pain is accompanied by severe swelling
- Symptoms include tingling, numbness or weakness
- Pain is accompanied by a fever
- Symptoms make it impossible to move or bend the foot, or to put weight on the foot
During your evaluation, your podiatrist will go through your medical history and perform a in-depth physical examination. We will ask you questions about your symptoms. These questions can help us rule out certain conditions. Sometimes imaging tests and further testing is required.
Prince William Foot & Ankle Center provides a full range of foot and ankle services to the Gainesville and South Riding, VA, areas. If you are dealing with heel pain that isn’t responding to at-home care then call our office today at (703) 753-3338 for an evaluation.
Preventive care, an essential aspect of maintaining good health, can also help you protect your feet. In fact, regular visits to your podiatrist, Dr. Mukesh Bhakta of Prince William Foot & Ankle Center in Gainesville, VA, offer a simple way to improve your comfort and decrease the risk of complications due to chronic conditions—read on to learn more!
How You Can Benefit From Preventive Care
Feet are often overlooked yet play a crucial role in your life. When your feet hurt, everything becomes more difficult, from navigating the stairs to your bedroom to walking from the parking lot to your office to participating in your favorite activities.
Preventive care can help you:
- Manage Chronic Conditions: Do you have diabetes, circulation problems, or an autoimmune disorder? All of these conditions can affect your feet, increasing your risk of infections, pain, numbness, swelling, and other symptoms. Thanks to preventive visits, your Gainesville foot doctor can diagnose and treat problems before they can affect your health.
- Avoid Balance Issues As You Age: Age-related changes in your feet may affect your gait and increase your risk of falling. Fortunately, your podiatrist offers custom-designed shoe inserts called orthotics to improve arch support and keep your feet properly aligned when you wear shoes.
- Prevent Back, Leg or Hip Pain: Foot imbalances, arch problems, and other issues don't just cause pain in your feet, but may affect the alignment of your entire body. Your foot doctor can determine if a biomechanical foot issue may cause or contribute to your back, hip, or leg pain.
- Identify Foot or Ankle Conditions in Children: Preventive visits are particularly important for young children. Promptly identifying foot, ankle, or toe conditions will ensure that your child receives the treatment needed to avoid lifelong foot issues.
- Prevent Sports Injuries in Children and Adults: Sports participation is a common cause of foot and ankle injuries. Injuries may be more likely to occur if you turn your feet inward, you have a foot imbalance, or if your shoes don't adequately cushion and support your feet. During your visit to the foot doctor, you may be surprised to learn that you have one of these issues. Fortunately, your podiatrist can make a few recommendations that will help you avoid injuries when you're on the field or court.
Interested? Give Us a Call
Improve your foot health with preventive care! Call Prince William Foot & Ankle Center in Gainesville, VA, today at (703) 753-3338 to schedule an appointment with your podiatrist.
Find out how to get your bunions under control without resorting to surgery.
Is a bunion affecting your ability to get around? Our Gainesville, VA, podiatrist Dr. Mukesh Bhakta can help create the ideal treatment plan for you based on the severity of your bunion, your lifestyle and activity level to make sure that your bunion gets the care it needs without changing your routine.
Here are some ways to get your bunion symptoms under control.
Change your footwear: Any shoes that have high heels taller than 2 inches, or shoes that bunch up toes or have pointed toes are a no-no for people with bunions. Opt for shoes with a wide toe box that give your toes plenty of room to wiggle and move around.
Taping or padding the foot: Applying a protective pad to the bunion before wearing shoes can alleviate additional pressure placed on the area when standing or walking. Furthermore, taping or splinting the foot can also properly realign the foot and joint to reduce pain.
Wear custom orthotics: Our Gainesville, VA, podiatrist can also make prescription shoe inserts, which redistribute weight evenly throughout the foot to prevent the bunion from getting worse. Orthotics can reduce shock absorption while also providing the foot with the support it needs while in motion.
Medication: On days when your bunion just won’t quit, an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen may be able to at least alleviate your discomfort. If you are dealing with severe bunion pain that over-the-counter pain relievers aren’t strong enough to handle, then Dr. Bhakta may recommend steroid injections to treat severe swelling and pain.
Icing: Icing is another easy and simple way to reduce swelling and pain, and may also provide you with relief from your symptoms when you would rather not resort to over-the-counter pain relievers. Ice can dull the pain and reduce inflammation. Ice the bunion for 15 minutes at a time, 2-3 times a day.
When should I see a podiatrist?
If you aren’t sure if you are dealing with a bunion then it’s time to turn to a foot and ankle doctor who can diagnose your condition. After all, there are many reasons someone may experience foot pain. If your symptoms aren’t responding to at-home care then Dr. Bhakta would be happy to create a more effective treatment plan to get your symptoms under control.
Whether you have questions about treating your bunion or you are experiencing symptoms of a bunion, turn to the experts at Prince William Foot & Ankle Center in Gainesville and South Riding, VA, for the treatment you need.
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