Sprains and strains are two of the most common foot and ankle injuries affecting active individuals and athletes. Fortunately, with proper treatment, it’s possible to relieve pain and get you back on the court or playing field quickly. At Optima Foot and Ankle, with the convenient locations in Bend, Oregon, and Redmond, Oregon, expert podiatrists Laura Schweger, DPM, and Evan M. Ross, DPM, specialize in the treatment of sprains and strains. To request your appointment today, call the office nearest you or book online at any time.

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What are sprains and strains?

Foot and ankle sprains and strains are common injuries that affect people of all ages, from children and teenagers to adults and senior citizens.

Many people use these terms interchangeably, but they’re actually two different things. A sprain occurs when you overextend one or more of your ligaments, thick bands of tough tissue that surround your joints, and connect the bones in your feet. A strain occurs when you stretch, overextend, or tear one of the muscles or tendons in your foot.

What are the symptoms of sprains and strains?

The symptoms of sprains and strains vary depending on their location and severity. However, common telltale signs include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Redness and/or warmth
  • Walking with a limp
  • Pain with movement
  • A popping or snapping sound

If you suffer a sprain or strain, you might also find it difficult to place weight on your affected foot or ankle. You might also experience ankle instability or a feeling of your leg giving way.

What causes sprains and strains?

Sprains and strains can occur for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Strenuous physical activity
  • Failing to warm up or cool down
  • Rolling or twisting your ankle
  • Stepping down in an awkward way
  • Slipping and falling

You might also suffer a sprain or strain as a result of an automobile accident or work-related injury.

How are sprains and strains diagnosed?

To diagnose a strain or sprain, your Optima Foot and Ankle provider conducts a physical exam, reviews your medical history, and asks you about your symptoms. They might also ask you to perform a series of easy in-office exercises to observe your range of motion, gait, and posture.

If these measures don’t provide enough information, your provider might also recommend taking an X-ray or MRI to get a closer look at the bones, joints, and soft tissues in your feet and ankles.

How are sprains and strains treated?

Whenever possible, the providers at Optima Foot and Ankle recommend conservative, noninvasive treatments such as rest, ice, compression, and elevation (the RICE protocol), wearing comfortable, supportive shoes, and stopping certain physical activities. If your symptoms persist or get worse, you might benefit from laser treatment with the FX 635, physical therapy, or in severe instances, surgical intervention.

Don’t let a sprain or strain prevent you from living your best life. Request an appointment at Optima Foot and Ankle today by calling the office nearest you or booking online.