If you suffer an injury to your ankle or foot, it can take weeks or months until it feels back to normal. Depending on how you treat the injury, you may be forced to be non-weight bearing or limited weight bearing for a while during your recovery. Or for others, they just kind of hobble around for a while until their leg starts to feel better.
While all eyes are on the one injured foot or ankle, the other foot is tasked with picking up the slack and helping to disperse more stress. And when this happens, pain can begin to develop in your non-injured foot. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at why you have pain in your non-injured foot, and how to best treat it.
Pain In My Non-Injured Leg
Developing pain or an injury on your “healthy” leg isn’t a problem that’s isolated to your feet. Doctors see it all the time in areas like your knees, hip and back. As one area becomes injured, your body naturally finds ways to compensate and help take pressure off the area. By doing this, it also exerts more pressure on other structures. When these uninjured structures are forced to manage more stress over a long period of time, they are at a heightened risk for injury as well. This is why it’s so common for people to need knee replacement in both knees, or why their left foot starts to hurt after limping around on their sprained right ankle for days.
After an injury, it’s important to try to understand how forces have shifted in your body. Are you walking with a limp or is your gait impeded? Are you landing harder on your uninjured leg because of how your body is trying to protect the injured area? Have someone watch you walk and see if they can tell if you are hobbled or walking with an uneven gait.
So while most of our attention is being spent on the injured ankle, it’s not uncommon for individuals to develop pain in their other foot. Being aware of how stress is channeled through your feet is a great way to help prevent an injury to your healthy foot, but so too is making sure you take enough time away from physical activity to allow your body to heal. If you’re pushing through discomfort and pretending that nothing is wrong, not only may your original injury not heal correctly, but another one could set in somewhere else.
Treating a new pain on your uninjured leg involves getting a diagnosis and developing a treatment plan. In most instances, repetitive stress and overloading is the root cause, and these are easily addressed with lifestyle modifications like rest, strength training exercises, weight loss, assistive walking devices and over the counter medications. Giving your feet a few days free from strenuous activity can provide them with the perfect environment for healing. Your foot specialist can walk you through all your treatment options and help adjust your care based on what’s working.
So if you are dealing with a new pain in your uninjured foot or ankle, evaluate your activities and your gait and stop the problem before it snowballs. For any help with this process, reach out to Dr. Silverman’s office today.