The portion of your body where the foot meets the leg contains several key parts, including the Achilles tendon and ankle. These are at high risk of injury and pain because they absorb much of the weight and impact of everyday activities like running. Pain emanating from this area can be the result of tendinitis, bone fractures, muscle tears, plantar fasciitis and a plethora of other causes. Relief from leg and foot pain typically requires nothing more than rest, home care and an occasional painkiller. A doctor should be consulted if pain ever becomes chronic or acute.
Speak with your doctor if leg or foot pain is acute. Ask about specific causes and origins of the pain so that a correct course of treatment can be determined.
Apply heat and gentle pressure to the area if pain is located in the muscles or tendons of the leg or foot. Use a hot water bottle or washcloth soaked in hot water to apply heat.
Use a cold pack or bag of frozen vegetables if leg or foot pain is associated with swelling or inflammation. Wrap cold packs or ice in a thin cloth to prevent freezer burn.
Consult further options with your doctor if pain is located in the bones of the leg or foot. Follow your doctor's instructions if surgery or physical therapy is necessary to repair bones.
Take over-the-counter painkillers like Ibuprofen to reduce swelling, or acetaminophen and Advil to dull mild leg and foot pain.
Tips & Warnings
- Attempt to stay off the affected leg or foot as much as possible. Use a crutch if necessary.
- Elevate the foot when lying down.
- Wear shoes that fit and that maintain adequate padding and support.
- Engage in mild exercise like yoga or t'ai chi to keep the leg and foot flexible and blood circulation strong.
- Do not ever attempt to apply unnecessary pressure or force to a aching leg or foot. Allow it to rest whenever possible.
- Do not take prescription painkillers unless specifically instructed to do so by your doctor. Painkillers can become addictive if used improperly.
- Do not wear socks, stockings or shoes that are too tight, as this will hinder circulation to your feet.
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