Feet > Foot Strains and Sprains

What are Foot Strains and Sprains?

As the first part of the body that touches the playing surface, feet are especially prone to a wide variety of injuries, including foot sprains and foot strains. A foot sprain occurs when one or more ligaments in the foot are overstretched. A foot strain affects the muscles or tendons in the foot.


Foot sprains are most commonly caused by sudden imbalance, either when your body is out of position when your foot contacts the ground. Direct contact can also bend your foot into abnormal positions and pull your tendons or ligaments. People with flat feet or high, rigid arches may be more likely to suffer foot sprains and strains, particularly if they wear ill-fitting or worn out shoes during sports activities.


Immediately upon injury, use R.I.C.E. - Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Apply ice intermittently for at least the first 24 hours. A sandwich bag with crushed ice or a bag of frozen vegetables can be placed on the injured foot and wrapped with an elastic bandage for compression. While icing, try to elevate your foot above your heart level to help fluids drain away from the injury. Weight-bearing on your foot should be limited to your individual pain tolerance. If pain or range of motion does not improve within a week, a doctor should be consulted. For more severe injuries, crutches or a walking cast may be prescribed. Stretching and strengthening exercises can also help the recovery process.


You can help prevent foot sprains and strains by stretching and strengthening the muscles and tendons around the ankles and feet. It is important to wear proper socks and shoes with good support. If you have been previously injured, your physician may recommend ankle supports before engaging in physical activity. Having your ankles taped by a qualified athletic trainer also may help prevent reinjury.


Copyright 2007 | Insall Scott Kelly® Institute. All Rights Reserved.