Sometimes, the patients that I see here in New York have put off a visit for quite some time. The reasons that they do this are varied, but often they are worried about the answers they will get or the treatments we will suggest. It’s important to keep in mind that putting off a visit can make damage worse. Depending on your situation, your treatment might be as simple as a new stretching routine or physical therapy. The important thing is that you don’t let a problem go on for too long before you receive professional support. Here are a few giveaways that you need to get your foot or ankle examined.
It’s keeping you awake at night
Everyone needs a good night’s rest, and if pain is keeping you awake, it’s going to affect your days by making you groggy, cranky, and worse. If you wake up or have trouble falling asleep because you’re foot or ankle is sore, you are at a point where you need a professional evaluation to get to the bottom of the problem. In the meantime, be sure that you remove or loosen any tucked-in blankets and ask any sleeping partners to be mindful of your situation to reduce additional stress on sore areas.
You’re using a lot of pain medicines
Over-the-counter medications can be helpful for relieving small aches, reducing swelling, and getting ahead of the game. However, if you find that you are taking more than or right at the recommended dosage on the bottle to make yourself feel better, you might be ignoring a greater problem. Instead of putting chemicals in your body, consider what’s possible through surgery or regenerative and physical therapy.
You own more support tape than a locker room
Do you find yourself constantly taping up your toes, feet, or ankles to keep them supported and prevent additional strain? Do you have more supportive socks and braces than an athletic trainer carries? These medical devices can be helpful for smaller injuries and prevent some damage, but they are not a substitute for a diagnosis and treatment. If you find yourself relying on these types of products continuously, it’s probably best that you take your problem more seriously and seek a consultation.
It’s affecting your game
Coaches, fellow players, and even parents are historically notorious for encouraging athletes to “push through the pain” of injuries and continue to play. Unfortunately, this isn’t very good advice. Continuing to participate in athletic events while injured can make the situation worse. If you are at a point where you have hurt your foot or ankle and it is keeping you from playing without pain, you need to be checked out by a physician.
It’s hot or making weird sounds
After a trauma, you can expect some moderate swelling and redness around your injured area. What’s not so normal is an injury that remains hot to the touch or pops and crackles in ways you’ve never heard. If anything seems abnormal about your injury, don’t put off seeking an outside opinion about what’s best for treating it.
Dealing with a foot or ankle injury can be scary and leave you with a feeling of uncertainty, but that doesn’t mean you should put off getting to the root of the problem. Take comfort in the fact that we will do all we can to make sure you are treated in a way that you are both comfortable with and will be satisfied by.