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Sprains And Strains Specialist

Ankle & Foot Specialists

Podiatrists & Foot and Ankle Specialists located in Norwood Park, Chicago, IL

Sprains and strains occur when you overstretch, tear, or overuse connective tissues in your lower extremities. If you experience pain, swelling, or bruising, schedule an evaluation with James Elipas, DPM, and John Flanagan, DPM, at Ankle & Foot Specialists in Chicago, Illinois. Since sprains and strains can quickly progress and lead to ongoing problems, including ankle instability, early intervention is critical. Book a foot and ankle exam at the Norwood Park office online or by phone today.

Sprains and Strains

What causes sprains and strains?

Sprains are injuries that affect ligaments, which connect bones to other bones. Strains affect muscles, as well as tendons that connect muscles to bones. In either case, one thing’s for certain: you have connective tissue damage.

One of the most common types of injuries that affects your lower extremities is an ankle sprain. This type of injury occurs when you twist or roll your ankle and your ligaments stretch beyond their normal range. 

Strains can also occur from abnormal motions, but they often happen because of overuse or improper stretching. With sprains or strains, your risk increases if:

  • You’re older
  • You’re an athlete
  • You had a prior strain or sprain
  • You have inherited structural issues

Sprains and strains vary drastically in severity, but even a minor injury can quickly become serious with ongoing walking, running, or exercise. Because of this, it’s important to come to Ankle & Foot Specialists if you experience any kind of discomfort in your lower extremities. 

How does a podiatrist diagnose sprains and strains?

Your dedicated podiatrist performs a comprehensive evaluation of your feet and ankles. They’ll likely gather X-ray or ultrasound images to view the inner structures. During your exam at Ankle & Foot Specialists, your podiatrist talks with you about all of the symptoms you’re experiencing. It’s important to let them know if you:

  • Have redness or bruising
  • Experience tenderness or swelling
  • Can’t bear full weight on your foot
  • Notice an obvious deformity, such as a bone protrusion
  • Have severe foot pain after long periods of inactivity

Generally, by the end of your exam, your podiatrist can diagnose your sprain or strain and counsel you about which treatments you’ll need. 

What is the treatment for sprains and strains?

As with any type of soft tissue injury, sprains and strains take time to heal. Your dedicated podiatrist at Ankle & Foot Specialists carefully creates a treatment plan that relieves any acute discomfort and pain you have, while promoting healing and restoring connective tissue health. 

Treating sprains and strains can involve:

  • Rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE)
  • Extracorporeal shockwave therapy 
  • Immobilization with a splint, brace, or cast
  • Regenerative medicine (stem cell therapy)
  • Anti-inflammatory medications 
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Orthotic devices 
  • Physical therapy

Severe injuries, including ankle instability, ligament tears, and fractures, may require surgical intervention. But with the help of Ankle & Foot Specialists, you can expect expert care no matter which treatment is right for you. 

If you suffered from a sprain or strain, contact Ankle & Foot Specialists for an evaluation. Click the online scheduler or call to book a visit today.