A sprained foot is pretty common especially for people who are engaged in physical sports that subject their feet to abnormal bending and twisting motions such as basketball, baseball, softball and other sports. But ordinary people may also be affected by it as a result of daily activities. And since it can affect anyone, it is important that we know the first aid treatment for this condition in case it happens to us or to the people we know. First aid treatment for a sprain is very important for pain relief and immediate comfort.
Sprains in the feet can be classified into three categories: Grade 1 is when the injury is mild and there is just microscopic stretching or tears in the ligaments. Grade 2 is when the injury is moderate, causing partially stretched or torn ligaments. Severe sprains are classified as Grade 3 and it is when there are completely torn ligaments and the foot becomes unstable and can no longer bear the weight of the body.
It is important to note that when a sprain occurs, there are two possible parts of the foot that can be affected. One is the mid-foot which is the central area of the foot including the arch. Sprain in this area is normally caused by a fall, collision or twisting. The other part is the first metatarsophalangeal joint which is at the base part of the big toe. A sprain in this area can be caused by extreme backward bending of the big toe. A case in point is when a football player who falls forward with the big toe planted flat on the ground and receiving impact.
To recognize sprains, there are several symptoms that are noticeable. There is pain, bruising, swelling, and inability to bear weight or to move. In some cases, the patient may also experience a feeling of tingling feet. You don’t have to send the patient immediately to a doctor once sprain is detected. There are first aid treatments that can provide immediate relief and treatment for this kind of condition.
The RICE therapy is known to be an effective approach for sprains. RICE stands for rest, ice, compress and elevate. It is important that the patient should completely rest and stop doing your normal routine to avoid further injury in the affected foot. To relieve the pain and swelling, wrap ice in a towel and apply it in the affected area for up to 20 minutes. Repeat the same procedure after every hour until the pain or swelling is relieved. The next step is compressing the affected area by wrapping it with an elastic bandage or specialized braces. Compressing can help remove the swelling. Be sure to elevate the affected foot above heart level.
Aside from the RICE therapy, you could also give the patient an over-the-counter medication NSAID such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen to deal with the pain and inflammation. Except for minor sprains, you should consult a doctor for severe sprains since there may be broken bones that need to be set.
While recovering from a sprain, take time to get up close with nature. It is also one way of getting therapy for overall wellness. Sometimes, having a sprain could be an indication that you need some rest from your normal routine. It is always good to have a natural protected area near your place where you can get close to wildlife and to relax. It is one of the advantages if we protect and conserve our nature.