We’ve all stepped in a hole or off a curb wrong before and twisted our ankle. This injury, called a sprain, can stretch or tear the ligaments that help to hold your ankle together. It’s a painful injury, but usually not a serious one.
In many cases, you may be able to take care of your sprained ankle recovery yourself. Other more severe cases may require medical attention. Read on to learn more about sprained ankle recovery and what steps to take if you get injured.
One of the most basic ways to care for a sprained ankle is to remember RICE. This stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
Rest means avoiding activities that will further aggravate the injury. While you’re resting, put your foot in an ice slush bath or put an ice pack on it for fifteen to twenty minutes. Repeat this every two to three hours.
During the times you can’t rest, wrap your ankle snugly with an ACE wrap or similar. Make sure you don’t wrap tightly enough to cut off circulation and start your wrap at the end farthest from your heart.
Whenever possible, elevate your ankle above the level of your heart. This includes while you sleep; this will help reduce swelling.
If RICE isn’t working, you may want to start to look at different devices for help. Your doctor may recommend you use an ankle brace for a few weeks to support your ankle while it heals. You can get these over the counter at most sporting goods stores.
Depending on the severity of the sprain, your doctor may also recommend you use a crutch for a few weeks. This can help take the weight off the injured ankle, giving the ankle time to rest and heal. Make sure you receive training on how to use a crutch, since it may not be as simple as you first think.
Sprained ankles can be very painful, so there are a number of medications you can take to control the pain. If it’s a light sprain, start with the regular dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen at the recommended interval.
If you have any blood clotting conditions or other relevant medical conditions, be sure to consult your doctor before you begin taking pain medications.
As your ankle heals, you may need therapy to help restore your strength and range of motion. This is especially important if you’re an athlete or otherwise very active. Talk to your podiatrist at Premier Podiatry about referring you to a physical therapist for an assessment.
In some very severe cases, an ankle sprain may require surgery. This happens in cases where the ligament is torn or won’t heal. Talk to your foot doctor if your ankle doesn’t heal or remains unstable after a long period of appropriate treatment and therapy.
Having a sprained ankle is no fun, but in most cases, a few weeks of rest and pain medication will be enough to manage sprained ankle recovery. If you continue to have pain, weakness, or loss of range of motion, talk to your podiatrist. You may have a more serious injury that needs treatment.
If you’d like to learn more about keeping your feet and ankles healthy, visit the rest of our site at Premier Podiatry. We can treat everything from Arthritis to Athlete’s Foot with the most advanced technologies. Contact us today to set up an appointment in our Clifton office and get back on your feet, healthier than ever.