What are the best ways to treat foot issues at home?
May 27, 2014 1:43 PM   Subscribe

I have web diagnosed myself with accessory navicular syndrome. Unfortunately, the web treatment options are not entirely apparent.

Last fall I tweaked my ankle playing softball. Pretty much since then, with varying severity, I have had pain and swelling around my navicular bone. The pain varies from mild irritation, to slight limp inducing pain. The swelling varies from hardly noticeable (but I can always see it) to pretty significant, with occasional bruising. The area hurts to the touch most of the time, and sometimes pain radiates out to other areas of my foot. I know you aren't my doctor, but I am extremely hesitant to go to a podiatrist, and get x-rays, and pay all my deductibles and co-pays, for them to say this is what it is, and really you will just have to manage it or have surgery.

So what I am trying to figure out, is how people manage it. I've found very few resources on things people do to relieve the issue. Are there wraps or things I can wear the will help? Or will those make it worse? OTC Orthotics? Same questions regarding icing/heat or stretches etc? I'm hoping that I will luck out and find someone who has dealt with this before, and maybe has a few tricks up their sleeve, although that may be asking too much.
posted by Quincy to Health & Fitness (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Well, they start out with ice and heat, some anti-inflammitories and then, if it doesn't go away, then it progresses to Physical Therapy, then orthotics. If THEY don't work, surgery.

That's how it is with most medical stuff. Only a doctor can tell you how severe it is, and what's likely to work and when to intervene in the next step.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:49 PM on May 27, 2014 [2 favorites]

IANAD, but from what I do know having had similar foot problems, is that feet are really, really complex and full of little pieces. Without actually using any diagnostic tools, I'm not sure you can be that certain about your self-diagnosis. Maybe it's this accessory navicular bone (which, thank you for the fact that I finally know what that weird bone I have is!), but maybe it's the other tiny bone riiiight under it, or maybe it's a tendon, or a ligament.

Your mention of occasional bruising, specifically, dings my "get to a doctor" bell, especially because you've had it off-and-on for months now. That's not normal, and seems like it could signal that something is significantly wrong/twisted/broken on a level that painkillers, ice/heat, and bandages won't be able to fix.
posted by augustimagination at 1:57 PM on May 27, 2014 [3 favorites]

could be a stress fracture, especially if the pain goes away and comes back after using your foot for awhile. treatment for that is just staying off of it for 6 weeks. but for real. a stress fracture is like a crack in an egg, that stuff just needs to heal.

the other thing is that your navicular bone might be out of place. canadian or british osteopaths can just put that bone back into place for you. sounds like you're in the US, though, so I don't know what to tell you.
posted by andreapandrea at 2:03 PM on May 27, 2014 [2 favorites]

If your foot is cyclically bruising, that's not a good sign and you should stuff Dr Google and see a doctor.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:03 PM on May 27, 2014 [3 favorites]

I have had chronic foot and ankle problems for years, and I pretty much agree with the see-a-doctor advice. This doesn't sound like it's going to clear up on it's own. Having said that, you can't really go wrong with the R-I-C-E (rest-ice-compression-elevation) treatment. In addition, I highly recommend Traumeel ointment. It's a miracle pain reliever--expensive, yes, but really worth it. Good luck.
posted by Gusaroo at 2:11 PM on May 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

I have an accessory navicular bone (well, two, cause I have two feet). I've done various bad things to it over the years.

I did manage to get some kind of stress fracture in the bone and was in an air cast for a couple months one winter. I think the aircast helped, and certainly it helped after the immediate trauma. Does your insurance at least have an advice nurse you can call? Probably you don't want to give them your self-diagnosis; just the facts of what happened and how it feels now.

But the big change for me in the long term was getting good footwear. I have had luck with both SAS and Ziera shoes; I won't wear anything else for more than a day. Good footwear won't cure your problem (see your damn doctor already, or at the very least phone and get a professional opinion about it), but it can prevent recurrence. It's sure as heck not cheap though.
posted by nat at 2:19 PM on May 27, 2014

(Also, RICE has been argued against; google "RICE vs MEAT" for some criticisms, and beware the woo, there's plenty of it on both sides.)
posted by nat at 2:21 PM on May 27, 2014

The podiatrist is one doctor I always get great value for money with. If my feet aren't right, nothing is right. Mine takes our insurance with a $45 copay, even with an xray.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 4:13 PM on May 27, 2014

Check out Kelly Starrett's navicular mobilizations
posted by pageman at 9:39 PM on May 27, 2014

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