Swelling is a natural, normal reaction to most injuries of the feet or ankles. Although it can be annoying, in most cases swelling is part of the healing process—the area enlarges because fluid, including red and white blood cells, rushes to the injury in order to accelerate recovery.
That said, prolonged or excessive swelling can do more harm than good, and may cause further pain or discomfort. After an injury, you’ll want to try to keep swelling under control, aiding your natural healing process and protecting against further damage.
The first step is post-injury home care. When recovering from an injury, follow the RICE protocol to keep swelling in check. REST stands for:
- Rest: Take weight off the area to reduce stress and minimize risk of further damage.
- Ice: Use an icepack as necessary for up to 20 minutes at a time, no more than once per hour.
- Compression: Use compression bandages for support and swelling control.
- Elevation: Keep your injury above chest level as often as possible while you sit or recline.
The second step is professional care. Most injuries of the feet and ankles, including sprains, strains, tendinitis, shin splints, and others should be addressed by a podiatrist like Dr. Harvey Danciger, who is specifically trained in care for your lower limbs.
One of the best strategies for getting swelling under control—and a treatment method we’re very proud to offer our patients—is laser therapy. This revolutionary technique uses specific wavelengths of light to stimulate that natural healing processes in your own cells. It doesn’t hurt, there are no side effects, and it can have a profoundly positive effect on pain, swelling, and recovery time for a wide range of injuries, or in fact almost any inflammatory condition.
Don’t struggle needlessly with the pain and swelling that accompanies an injury. Call Dr. Danciger today and see how the doctor can help you get back on your feet. You can reach our Palm Desert office at 760-568-0108, or you can even request an appointment online.