Which medical professional has your back when a foot aches?
HEALTH For serious foot trauma, do as I say, not as I do: Phone an ambulance or go to the nearest emergency room. A few years ago I broke my foot. Hoping it was just a sprain, I hobbled back into the house where I just happened to have a 600 mg ibuprofen prescription. After a sip of water, I hopped on the freeway (in a car). The prescription was three times stronger than OTC so the "sprain" should have been numbed en route to my 50-mile destination. Thirty minutes later, it felt as though I had shot myself in the foot. Reaching for an emergency backup pill in the glovebox, with no water on hand, I salivated enough to get it down. This dulled the pain for another 30 minutes. My foot's inability to bear weight when I arrived at my destination clued me to the likelihood of it being broken and the realization of traveling in the opposite direction of my HMO facility.
Overdosing on Ibuprofen
Delays continued when I finally made it to the ER. My relatively calm triage revelation of a suspected broken foot and the absence of an ambulance relegated me to low priority. Pleas for pain relief were dismissed until after the attending physician could assess the condition. By the fourth hour, I had ingested 1800 mg of ibuprofen. Finally, a doctor saw me and circled the avulsion fracture on an x-ray. This is when a tendon rips away from a bone. He was amazed that I had endured such pain for so long. That's when I told him about my little helpers. He advised against taking any more and then prescribed Valium. Fortunately, there were no adverse reactions to my hyper-ibuprofen ingestion.
Human response to ibuprofen overdose ranges from absence of symptoms to fatality despite intensive-care treatment. Most symptoms include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, dizziness, headache, tinnitus, and nystagmus. Rarely, more severe symptoms, such as gastrointestinal bleeding, seizures, metabolic acidosis, hyperkalaemia, hypotension, bradycardia, tachycardia, atrial fibrillation, coma, hepatic dysfunction, acute renal failure, cyanosis, respiratory depression, and cardiac arrest have been reported. Toxic effects are unlikely at doses below 100 mg/kg, but can be severe far above 400 mg/kg. 
A follow-up visit with an orthopedic specialist was scheduled. On the second day, swelling and bruising was evident. As illustrated on the Foot and Ankle anatomy poster in the sidebar, avulsion can occur during athletic activity or by stepping on an uneven surface with too much force, as I had done. This can cause secondary trauma. As the foot is twisted with enough force to separate tendon, subdermal nerves and blood vessels can be stretched or broken. The bone healed within six weeks but the pain persisted for six months or longer. During the extended discomfort, I never really considered other specialists for foot care — podiatrist (chiropodist), chiropractor, rheumatologist, physiotherapist or neurologist may have been consulted. [2-3]
What Can a Chiropractor Do For Feet?
I go to the chiropractor when my back aches. If my neck is stiff I procrastinate while thinking about the unfortunate neck injury of Christopher Reeve. Recently a chiropractic customer purchased foot anatomy posters from the online store here. This piqued my curiosity enough to discover the following video.
|Dr. Jason Worrall - Chiropractic Foot Adjustment|
|Wall poster in video is available from Store.ClinicalPosters.com
Apparently a good chiropractor can do plenty for feet. My foot injury still reminds me of the trauma from time to time. Perhaps chiropractic foot treatment is in my future. Have you ever considered going to a chiropractor for aching feet?
- Ibuprofen: Overdose. wikipedia.org
- Comparison Of Osteopathy, Chiropractic, Physiotherapy and Podiatry. theosteopaths.co.uk
- Chiropractic. wikipedia.org
- Image by Kevin RR Williams.