Car accidents are no fun. There’s the rush of adrenaline and stress, dealing with police and insurance agents, and having to get your car repaired — possibly leaving you without transportation.
On top of all that, you can likely sustain all sorts of injuries when you’re in a collision.
If you’ve been in this situation and are feeling foot pain after a car accident, you may not know what to do.
Injuries to the foot and ankle during a crash are very common, and we’re here to share what specific damage you may have sustained, the best ways to treat it, and which trusted chiropractic care center can help you with this.
Table of Contents
- Why Does My Foot Hurt After a Car Accident?
- Foot Pain After a Car Accident: 3 Common Causes
- Injuries That Often Cause Foot Pain After a Car Accident
- Chiropractic Care for Foot Pain After a Car Accident
- Cascade Spine & Injury: Providing Top Chiropractic Care for Foot Pain After a Car Accident
Why Does My Foot Hurt After a Car Accident?
If you are in a car accident, the chances are high that your feet will take some of the force of impact. There are several reasons for this, including your braking foot rebounding off the brake pedal, bracing for impact against the floorboard, or your legs flailing and banging against the interior of the car.
There are several different types of injuries that can be sustained from these types of impacts during a collision, which we’ll discuss in more detail later.
There’s no reason you should have to suffer any type of chronic pain after a car accident. The smart thing to do after you’ve been in a crash is to seek treatment right away, even if you feel fine at first.
Foot Pain After a Car Accident: 3 Common Causes
Whether you were rear-ended at a red light or had a frontal collision where you hit someone else, these are the main ways you may injure your foot during a car accident.
#1: Rebound Off Brake Pedal
With a rear-end collision, your foot can very easily come off the brake during impact and then rebound, smashing into the pedal. For a frontal collision, you’re usually already braking and everything gets pushed together as it slows down after the crash.
These strong forces can cause foot pain in a variety of ways.
#2: Bracing for Impact
In the split seconds that you see you’re about to be in an accident, your body tenses and you brace for impact. The brake pedal often has a little bit of give to it, so if you’re the driver your right foot may actually be fine but you could sustain an injury in the left foot as you brace against the floorboard.
If you are a passenger in such an event, you’ll likely brace both feet and could injure either or both of them.
#3: Flailing of Extremities
If someone isn’t aware a collision is coming, particularly a passenger, their legs and feet may flail around and hit other parts of the car like the console or door, causing injury.
Injuries That Often Cause Foot Pain After a Car Accident
Car accidents involving sudden impact, forceful jolts, or twisting motions may lead to minor or more serious injuries. Understanding the types of injuries that can occur is essential in seeking appropriate treatment, such as chiropractic care.
Most often, you may experience foot pain from injuries related to:
- Ankle sprains
- Metatarsal pain; or
Ankle sprains are when an injury causes damage to the ligaments of the foot. You may hear a popping sound when this occurs.
Symptoms of ankle sprains may include:
- Tenderness at the injury site
- Ankle stiffness
- A cold or numb feeling in your foot
- Trouble bearing weight on your ankle
- Trouble walking
If you’ve sprained your ankle during a car accident, you’ll usually feel pain from it right away. If you don’t seek treatment, the joint will initially grow increasingly stiff and uncomfortable.
Metatarsal pain can manifest in a couple of different ways. One is metatarsalgia, in which the area under the ball of the foot becomes painful and inflamed.
You may also feel pain in your pinky toe. In this case, there may be extra cause for concern as the pinky toe is an easily fractured bone.
You may feel metatarsal pain immediately after an accident, or it could take a couple of days to manifest.
Tendons are the soft, flexible cords that connect your muscles to your bones. These can easily be strained during a car accident, resulting in tendonitis.
The most important tendon in your foot is your Achilles tendon, which starts at the bottom of the calf muscle and connects to your heel. It helps stabilize the foot and keep us upright while walking, so if it’s injured your mobility can really be affected.
The Achilles tendon may be torn during a car accident, and the severity of the tear will impact how it is treated. You’ll usually feel pain from a tendon strain or tear immediately, and it may often get worse before it gets better.
Chiropractic Care for Foot Pain After a Car Accident
Chiropractic care is a holistic approach to healthcare that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders, including foot pain resulting from a car accident.
Chiropractors employ various techniques to address the underlying causes of foot pain and promote overall wellness.
In addition to spinal adjustments, chiropractors offer specialized treatments such as:
- Massage Therapy
- Exercise programs; and
Not all chiropractors work with feet, but Cascade Spine & Injury Center offers services to help heal all extremities. The following are some examples of how we may treat your foot pain after a car accident.
Once your ankle is ready — after the swelling goes down from the initial injury and you can fully bear weight on it — we will make adjustments to it. The ankle is a very stiff joint, so it needs a lot of force to get it to loosen up. (Don’t worry, adjustments don’t hurt.)
It’s important to start ankle adjustments as soon as possible. If you don’t, there will usually be a reduction in the range of motion and flexibility in the joints of your feet, which can lead to other problems.
Cascade Spine & Injury Center wants to restore the normal motion of your ankle that was there before the collision so you can heal properly and get back to your normal activities.
Massage therapy is an excellent accompaniment to chiropractic care because working the muscles around the injury site can help relieve the trauma your body has experienced and speed up the healing process.
For a foot injury after a car accident, massaging the lower leg can help relax the muscles connected to the foot so it can heal better.
We can use a variety of modalities in conjunction with chiropractic care to enhance the healing of your foot pain after a car accident. Ultrasound therapy typically works very well in these situations.
With ultrasound, sound waves are used to penetrate soft tissues and increase blood flow. This can:
- Promote healing
- Improve circulation; and
- Relieve pain
Depending on the type of injury you have sustained, other modalities such as hot laser, interferential current, and traction may also be helpful.
When there is an injury to the ligaments of the foot, the nervous system doesn’t get the same information about the stability of the area that it did before the collision. So it’s important to recalibrate the situation using strength and balance training.
Proprioception exercises help solidify the body’s ability to perceive itself in space and stay balanced. Some examples of these include:
- One-leg balance test
- Reverse lunge
- Cone pickups
- Tree pose
- And more
Your exercise rehab therapist will create a custom program based on your specific injuries.
Acupuncture is a form of ancient Chinese medicine that uses tiny needles inserted at various points of the body to relieve pain. These sessions can help:
- Promote circulation
- Relieve muscle tightness
- Release trigger points; and
- Improve range of motion
Acupuncture works well on its own, but you’ll see even greater results if you combine it with our other therapies.
Cascade Spine & Injury: Providing Top Chiropractic Care for Foot Pain After a Car Accident
Cascade Spine & Injury Center has been a trusted Portland chiropractor since 2012. We are a leading accident and injury chiropractic clinic in the area, so you know you can trust us to help with your foot pain after a car accident.
As a multidisciplinary clinic specializing in chiropractic care, massage therapy, and therapeutic rehabilitation for patients of all ages, we are able to provide quick, comprehensive, and effective treatments for injuries relating to:
- Auto accidents
From ultrasound therapy to acupuncture to exercise rehab and more, you can benefit from our services in a relaxing and comfortable setting.
Schedule an appointment online or give us a call and let’s get you started on the road to healing today.
The content in this blog should not be used in place of direct medical advice/treatment and is solely for informational purposes.