Have you ever suffered a sprained ankle? Almost everyone has gone through an ankle sprain at least once in their life. A sprained ankle is the most common form of injury. Chances are you might have been playing a sport or walking on an uneven surface when you sprained your ankle.
Sprained ankles typically means you have either stretched or torn your ligaments in the region. It occurs when the ankle is rolled either inward or outward. Most of the time, the pain fades away within minutes, but there are times when your ankle is swollen and the pain turns excruciating, making it difficult to even stand. Pain along the inner side of the ankle may signify serious injury to the ligaments or tendons and demands a physiotherapy professional. If you have a not-so-serious sprain but suffer some pain and swelling, then this guide can help you recover quickly.
Treating Your Sprained Ankle
If you have sprained your ankle, you may be dealing with a lot of pain and swelling. Instead of waiting for it to heal by itself, treat it with these simple recovery steps. The R.I.C.E. method mentioned below can be used to recover from minor sprains and used along with a physiotherapist’s guidance for major sprains.
It makes no sense to pressurize your ankle more when you are already suffering enough pain. Taking the stress off your ankle is the best way to rest it, at least until the pain and swelling is reduced. The busy lifestyles that we have today, demands you to be on your feet for almost 24 hours. Unless it is a major sprain, you may not be able to avoid every physical activity your schedule demands. However, you can try limiting them or use alternatives to rest and protect the injured area. Avoid walking, sitting, using crutches or physically straining yourself.
Ice has always been helpful when you sprain or overstretch your body muscle. Using ice not only helps reduce the pain but also treats the swelling. Make sure you do not place the ice directly on the skin. Use a thin piece of cloth or ice bag on the sprained ankle. Alternatively, you may consider using a bag of frozen peas. Apply this for only 20 minutes. If you keep it for long, you may end up with frostbite and tissue damage.
Compression involves applying pressure to the sprained ankle and its surrounding area. It helps in reducing the swelling. You may try wrapping an elastic bandage extending from your toes and foot to your mid-calf. While doing so make sure you apply enough pressure for compression. Do not overdo it. If you feel it’s restricting circulation, loosen it slightly.
Elevation is the final step in the process of sprained ankle recovery. Along with the above-mentioned steps, you must elevate your ankle or leg as much as you can during the recovery stage. You can do this with the help of pillows and other items that help you comfortable elevate your leg. Elevation helps in improving the blood circulation. It makes sure the blood reaches the right parts and promotes healing.
While these were some basic steps, you also need to rehabilitate your ankle to make sure it completely heals. This may include some strengthening exercises and gradually moving back to your routine. Although ankle sprains do not necessitate a visit to the doctor, it is best to consult a physiotherapy professional to prevent a worsened situation.