Broken & Sprained Foot What is a broken or sprained foot? The human foot has 26 bones, and since we use our feet nonstop, broken bones (also known as fractures) in the foot are very common. If a sudden movement happens to crush, bend, or twist these bones, you can end up with a broken foot. If you accidentally kick something too hard, you can break a toe. Your heel bone can break if you fall from up high and land on your feet. Aside from accidents, small cracks can also form in bones over time as a result of repetitive stress. Athletes, especially runners, are prone to these stress fractures. If you’re suffering from a sprained foot rather than a broken one, your ligaments have been torn. The severity of sprains can vary greatly, from microscopic tears or stretching of the ligaments, to partially torn ligaments with more severe stretching, to completely torn ligaments—which render your foot unstable and unable to bear any weight. The most common sprain in the body is of the talofibular ligament when you have an inversion sprain. What are the symptoms of a broken or sprained foot? Broken bones in the foot can cause pain, swelling, and bruising. Often the pain is so severe you can’t walk. A sprained foot can also cause intense pain, swelling, and bruising, making it hard to tell if a foot is broken or sprained just by its appearance. How do we treat a broken or sprained foot? It can take eight to twelve weeks to recover from a break or sprain of a foot, and it is very important to consult with an expert throughout your recovery to ensure you are healing properly and to get a proper diagnosis. We carefully assess your history, your injury, and any changes in your flexibility or range of motion, in order to understand all the factors at play and to prevent chronic and recurring problems or future injuries. Our initial treatment for a broken or sprained foot will likely involve a course of RICE: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. In the acute phase, Active Release Technique is effective for pushing out residual inflammation. As your symptoms subside and you slowly get the use of your foot back, we recommend a stretching and strengthening program focusing on the foot and all the way to your core! Chiropractic treatment is a powerful tool to put any bones back in place that may have moved during your injury. We ensure your injured foot heals with a proper balance of flexibility and stability, and you have the tools to prevent any future overuse injuries.