How to Determine if You Have a Broken Foot or Sprained Ankle
They say that no two snowflakes are alike. The same could be said of injuries, particularly when it comes to the feet and ankles.
A broken foot, or a broken bone within the foot, is a serious injury that requires immediate medical attention and can take weeks or even months to heal properly.
A sprained ankle, on the other hand, is a much less serious injury that can usually be treated at home with some basic first aid.
So, how can you tell the difference between a broken foot and a sprained ankle?
This quiz will help you determine whether you need to head to the ER or just stay off your feet for a day or two.
Is My Foot Broken Or Sprained? A Quiz to help you find out!
Sorry to hear you hurt your foot and that you are in pain! The first thing that needs to be determined is the type of care you need.
1. What type of pain are you experiencing?
A) Sharp, stabbing pain
B) throbbing pain
C) dull, aching pain
If you answered A) sharp, stabbing pain, then you may have a broken bone. If you answered B) throbbing pain, then you may have a blood clot. If you answered C) dull, aching pain, then you may have a sprained ligament.
2. Can you put any weight on your foot?
If you answered A), then it’s likely that you have a sprain. If you answered B), then it’s possible that you have either a break or a bad sprain.
Women are more likely than men to have stress fractures, which often occur in the second metatarsal, the long bone in the middle of the foot). However, men are more likely than women to suffer from Achilles tendon rupture, which usually occurs in those over the age of 30. Ruptured tendons require surgery and cannot be treated at home.
If you answered B), it’s important that you see a doctor right away so that they can properly diagnose your injury and recommend treatment.
Depending on the severity of your injury, surgery may be required. However, most breaks and sprains can be treated at home with some simple first aid and the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, elevation).
3. What symptoms are you experiencing?
A) bruising and swelling
B) deformity in the foot or ankle
C) both bruising and deformity
If you answered A), then it’s likely that you have either a sprain or strain, which is a slightly different but similar injury.
Strains occur when muscles or tendons are stretched beyond their limit, whereas sprains happen when ligaments, which are the tissues connecting bones, are overstretched.
Both injuries can cause bruising and swelling but strains tend to cause more muscle spasms than sprains do.
If you answered B), then it’s possible that your injury is more serious—you should see a doctor right away so they can give you an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment plan.
If left untreated, breaks can lead to deformities such as bunions, which is when the big toe bends inward towards the others toes.
Osteoarthritis, a form of arthritis caused by wear-and-tear on joints) is also more common in people who have broken bones because bone rubbing against bone causes inflammation over time. If left untreated for too long, this inflammation can permanently damaged joints .
If you answered C), then it’s likely that your injury is indeed serious—head to the ER or urgent care center so that doctors can give you an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan as soon as possible.
If you have determine that you have sprained or strained your ankle or foot, you want to start managing the pain and encouraging the healing process by using an anti-inflammatory on it. We encourage using natural remedies that are often just as effective or in many cases, more effective than pharmaceutical options, without the unwanted side effects and strain on the liver.
Tiger Balm will help with the pain and healing. It has been around for decades and is effective for all sorts of injuries like sprains, strains, bruises, muscle aches, joint pain and more.
The natural herbal ingredients in Tiger Balm is menthol and camphor, which contain powerful anti-inflammatory properties. You might even have some in your medicine cabinet already!
Tiger Balm Pain Relieving Ointment Ultra Strength
There are many factors to consider when determining whether you have a broken bone or simply a sprain. It’s important to seek medical attention right away if you experience sharp pain, are unable to put weight on your foot/ankle, or notice any deformity in your foot or ankle.
However, most sprains and strains can be treated at home with some basic first aid including rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE method), along with applying a good, natural anti-inflammatory ointment.
We hope you feel better soon!
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