Five Foot Injuries Later: Recovering Naturally Without Cortisone

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Manic:  Me and my poor right foot!  In my 48 years, I broke the same ankle three times, battled plantar fasciitis and most recently sprained the top of my foot in October!  I have since healed and done so naturally, I’m happy to report!

Swelling up...and I wished I hadn't put off that pedicure since I was headed to the foot doc!

Managed:  For the 5th time in a row, I was able to heal naturally without the cortisone shot.  It was offered to me but I really wanted to try natural remedies first.  It took a while this time around, and as my hubs reminded me, part of that is because I’m “no longer a spring chicken” (thanks hubs…and…I must admit that he’s right) so healing time takes longer.  Here is what I did instead of the cortisone….

  1.  Immediately after the injury, I faithfully iced the injured foot for 15 minutes on and then 15 minutes off.  I did this all afternoon.  And I sat still for the next three days elevating the foot.  This was very hard to do since I am a very busy parent, but my family came together to give me that time.  Three days was all I could stand before I had to be back up on my feet.  My daughter made me chuckle when she commented, “Look on the bright side, Mom….you never get to just lay around and I, for one, am getting quite the appreciation for just how much you do around here!”  Yeah, I kind of loved that statement, I must say!
  2. I was able to get in to see my podiatrist the same day as my injury, which I recommend so you know what type of foot injury you are dealing with to begin the right treatment right away.
  3. Since the Xray didn’t show a break, but I had a decent amount of swelling and some bruising, we opted for crutches that first week.  I declined the cortisone shot that was offered to me.  Then I switched to the boot next. injured foot
  4. I applied Boiron Arnicare Gel daily and that really did decrease the bruising and swelling quite a bit.  My mother had first told me about arnica gel and I was happy to see that a company that I work with on my blog, had Arnicare!  Arnicare-Gel-5thPanel-left-800I had used Boiron’s Oscillo for a natural remedy for flu-like symptoms or the flu and I knew that I really like this homeopathic line of natural products.  The Arnicare is a great homeopathic nongreasy and paraben free gel.  It is soothing to apply and really does work wonders.  It also works great for tired and sore muscles, too. Get a $2 off coupon for this gel here.
  5. One week after using the crutches, I switched to the boot.  The day after receiving the boot I returned to the doctor’s office to get a smaller boot. So if you need a boot, do make sure that it is the proper size.
  6. Two weeks after wearing the boot I refrained from returning to cardio even though I really wanted to but I understood that patience would be key to a complete and natural recovery.
  7. When I noticed that I still had some inflammation I returned to the foot doc and asked about receiving ultrasound treatments to the area instead of a cortisone shot and he agreed that we could try that option.  The picture below was from ultrasound treatments from my previous bout with plantar fascittis and not this particular injury, but I wanted to show how simple, painless and easy the ultrasound is for the patient.  Ultrasound is such a great invention!  Non invasive and truly helps with the inflammation. ultrasound
  8. So after several weeks of twice weekly ultrasound treatments, I did see improvement but not complete healing.  So I signed up for physical therapy that my doctor approved.
  9. My next step (no pun intended) was to work with Spooner Physical Therapy and they were terrific.  And my wonderful PT, Pete put me in this cool zero gravity treadmill type of contraption so that I could get some cardio in without putting pressure on my injured foot.  The machine is called Alter G Anti Gravity Treadmill and you can see in the pictures that I liked it!  I was able to go to physical therapy and do all sorts of rehabilitative exercises 1 to 2 times a week and I was definitely getting better but still not back to normal and it had been 6 weeks since the injury.anti grav machineside view
  10. So my physical therapist and my podiatrist both agreed that an MRI of my foot was the next step.
  11. The MRI showed a decent sprain, but nothing more serious so I understood that patience was part of the all natural healing process….still!
  12. My PT recommended that I purchase a quality pair of tennis shoes, especially before I went back to cardio.  So I went to Sole Sports, which is a terrific local shoe store that actually measures your gait on a treadmill to recommend the best shoe.
  13. I am in love with my new shoes that are the Adidas Ultra Boost sneakers.  adidas-ultra-boost-womenThese shoes give my feet so much added support and don’t feel too bulky.  My previous shoes were a very thin running shoe, which gave me zero protection on the top of my foot when the injury occurred.  The Adidas Boost cost me $180 but, believe me, when it comes to your feet, invest in a good shoe.
  14. I also bought some supportive socks, too.  I really like the Feetures Elite Light Cushion sock that are also sold at Sole Sports for $14.99 a pair.  Again so worth it.feetures-elite-light-cushion-no-show-tab
  15. Last but not least, I gave myself a two week rest during the holidays to stay off my foot more than usual to really give it some time to rest and recover before I headed back to the gym in the New Year with everyone else who does that!  Of course, being a busy woman that isn’t always easy, but I took time off from my beloved gym and spent some quality time with my family truly resting my foot.  So if you have a foot injury, you must give it rest time.  Feet take longer to heal because we have to be on them every day.
  16. Finally I went back to cardio two weeks ago and it is going well!  Woo hoo!

    My foot is blurry because I'm on the move again (woo hoo) but you can see my new shoes that have made a difference!

    My foot is blurry because I’m on the move again but you can see my new shoes that have made a difference!

  17. I make sure to wear my good Adidas shoes with good supportive socks and my trainer does some foot rehab exercises with me as well.
  18. And don’t forget to eat nutritious foods and get rest, which truly does help any body part heal.

So I am happy to report that once again, I was able to use natural remedies like icing, physical therapy, arnica gel, ultrasound, good supportive shoes and socks and good ol’ patience to get back on my feet.  For the most part my foot is finally completely healed.  However if I wear high heels for an extended amount of time, I wake up with a little limp that goes away by mid-morning.  So I have switched to orthotic high heels, that are actually attractive.  shoeZiera has a nice assortment of heels with support.  Again they are pricey but the theme here is that when it comes to good foot health, quality shoes are a must.  Take it from me, Miss Five Time Foot Injury Queen!

There are a few other natural remedies like rolling the foot over a golf or tennis ball, but I didn’t mention that in this article since this injury was a top of the foot sprain.  To see how I was able to naturally cure my very painful plantar fascittis a few years ago, read this article that has been very popular on my blog.

So now, a full two months after my injury I am finally back to my cardio at the gym and I am thrilled.  I had no idea just how long an injury on the top of the foot can take!

Oh and the last important point that I left out is to slow down and pay attention to where one is walking, jogging or running.  Yes that has been a good lesson as well!