If the pain is mild, you may choose to care for the sprain at home. Take a break from activities, especially activities causing pain. And use crutches as needed. These precautions may also be undertaken after consulting with a sports specialist.
A specialist may further recommend taping of the foot or a brace to protect the foot and tissues from further damage. Ice is also an important tool that may aid in reducing pain and swelling while your foot sprain heals.
In addition, massage therapy, specifically cross friction techniques, may help during the acute phase of healing. Such techniques promote blood flow to the area and may speed up the recovery phase. If you choose to visit a massage therapist, such as our experienced and registered massage therapists at Athlete’s Choice Massage, ensure you communicate with your therapist about recent injuries.
Rest is also critical during this acute stage. As the foot heals, strengthening and stretching exercises can be introduced. Gradually, you’ll be able to return to your regular activities and increase the intensity and duration over time.
Lastly, orthotics may benefit those with low arches or flat feet. These inserts can help limit the stressed placed on the foot that may lead to recurring foot sprains.
Many minor to moderate foot sprains heal within a month. For more severe or complicated cases, it may take up to 6-8 weeks or more. The most important piece is to be patient and allow time for your body to heal properly. This way, you’ll be able to return to your regular activities free of pain and without fear of a recurring problem.