As we look at pain management, it is important to understand that taking away painful symptoms might not actually address the core problem. When foot or ankle pain is present, be sure to contact our office to find out what can be done about it.
Pain Management Techniques
Conservative care is often quite successful for foot and ankle issues that cause pain. Some of the remedies we recommend are:
- Rest – Taking time away from physical activities will not only give the body an opportunity to perform its natural healing functions, it can also serve to prevent further damage from being sustained.
- Ice – In addition to relieving pain, ice is also instrumental for keeping swelling to a minimum. Our staff can provide recommendations for frequency and duration of icing sessions, but always be sure to wrap the ice or ice pack to prevent skin damage. A thin towel usually works quite well for this.
- Pain Relievers – Always consult with our office first, but over-the-counter or prescription pain medication may be used to provide comfort with most injuries and conditions.
- Footwear Modification – A change in footwear to models that have stiff soles or provide exceptional arch support or cushioning can help in the management of painful symptoms. We can help you find ones that work best for you.
- Custom Orthotics – One approach to pain management is to redistribute forces and take pressure off affected areas. The orthotics we provide may play an important role in your treatment plan.
- Physical Activity – It might seem counterintuitive to use physical activity to manage foot pain, but stretches are particularly beneficial. Regular exercise can help by strengthening muscles and keeping the lower extremities limber and less prone to injury.
While conservative care is often quite successful, this is not always the case. There are conditions that will require surgery to completely address painful conditions. When you are suffering from a foot issue that requires a surgical procedure, we will discuss everything in advance—including the recovery process—so you can make an informed decision.
Understanding When to See Dr. Birnbaum
Perhaps one of the most important parts of managing your pain is knowing when to seek professional care. There is certainly value in coming in to have any condition properly diagnosed, but some causes of pain can be managed at home. As an example, you may benefit from rest and ice therapy following a minor injury. If you are experiencing persistent swelling that does not go away—or at least improve—following two to five days of home treatment, contact Brook Valley Podiatry to schedule an appointment.
If the pain is a tingling or burning sensation, or you are experiencing numbness, be sure to schedule an office visit. This especially holds true for cases where the majority or entire bottom of the foot is affected, or the source of pain is unknown. Several weeks of persistent pain is another issue that should definitely be addressed in our office.
It is important to note that all diabetic patients should always see Dr. Birnbaum before attempting home remedies for any foot or ankle condition that is causing pain.