If you’re a basketball player, it’s your worst nightmare. If you’re a runner, it’s the only thing keeping you from your passion. If you have limited mobility, it could be enough to prevent you from performing some of life’s simplest tasks.
As the premier team of Dallas podiatrists, AllCare Foot & Ankle Center knows how a simple sprained ankle can keep your from your sport, your passion, or your independence. In this blog, we’ll cover a few ways to deal with sprained ankles, and exercises and methods for preventing sprained ankles in the future.
What Is a Sprained Ankle?
Ankle sprains are some of the most common injuries, occurring when the ankle is turned inward or outward in an unnatural manner. When the ankle turns, the ligaments that connect the bones of the ankle together are strained or torn, leading to a sprain. Symptoms of a sprained ankle include ankle pain, swelling, and trouble standing, walking, and exercising.
How to Handle a Sprained Ankle
If you experience a moderate to severe ankle sprain, it’s best to stop by your Dallas podiatrist to make sure you haven’t experienced any structural damage. But if you have a mild ankle sprain, there are plenty of things you can do to promote healing and alleviate sprained ankle symptoms. It all boils down to the R.I.C.E. model. If you haven’t heard it before, let us explain.
Pressure and weight on a sprained ankle will just exacerbate its symptoms. Take a few days to get off your feet, or use crutches to maneuver around for awhile to allow your ankle to heal properly.
During the first few days of dealing with your ankle sprain, apply ice to the affected area for 20 minutes, every 1 to 2 hours throughout the day. Once swelling subsides, try taking ice baths in the evening, or using alternating hot/cold therapy to ease discomfort and promote ankle flexibility.
Wearing a compression wrap around your ankle for the first day or two will relieve swelling and promote stability in the ankle area. This is essential if you absolutely must put weight on the ankle. Don’t wrap the wrap too tight—it could cause numbness and increased swelling and pain.
When your workday is over, spend a few hours with your ankle raised above the level of your heart for two or three hours. This will decrease swelling, bruising, and pain in the ankle. While you have your ankle elevated, we recommend watching your favorite Netflix show while your kids or significant other bring you food and cold beverages. It’s the doctor’s orders.
With these tips, we hope you’re prepared to handle any sprained ankle situation. Stay tuned for part two of our series on sprained ankles to learn how to avoid sprained ankles and keep yourself on your feet!