Ankle sprain has always been a complaint by athletes, physical workers, and even common people who have their ankles injured. While it is a common injury, it should not be taken for granted as it can lead to further damages and complications.
A mild ankle sprain is a condition in which there is stretching and slight ripping of one or more ligaments in the ankle. Normally, the ligaments supporting the ankle joint, the bones of the ankle joint, and other structures including blood vessels, periosteum, nerves, and other tissues affected by the injury are involved.
With an ankle sprain, the ligaments that normally hold the joint in place are stretched and sometimes torn. Typically, the cause of such painful injury is stress or tension imposed from one side of the ankle joint, momentarily forcing the ankle or the heel bone out of its original position.
Symptoms of Sprained Ankle
You know you are suffering from such injury if your ankle aches significantly the moment your injured it. Moreover, you will feel a popping sound or a tearing act that seems to be coming from the outer part of the ankle. Little loss of ankle function would take place. You bear weight and walk without help for 30 minutes or so following the injury. However, depending on the gravity of the situation, the joint may appear to lose its stability. After sometime, your ankle would start swelling and some bruising may appear.
Treatment for Sprained Ankle
Treatment of ankle sprain should be done right away. Follow these helpful steps for a cured and stable ankle once again:
- As a first aid treatment, follow the RICE approach – rest, ice, compress, and elevate. Rest the injured ankle. Put some ice and compress, then elevate until the pain weakens.
- Continue applying the ice pack on your injured ankle for three to four times a day. To create a home-made ice pack, put ice cubes or ice chips in a plastic bag. Then, wrap the plastic bag in a towel that is slightly moist. Use the ice pack on your injured ankle for 20 minutes at a time. Keep your foot elevated in order to minimize swelling.
- If available, get whirlpool treatments or spend some time in a spa. To provide added comfort and reduced swelling, have your injured ankle be massaged gently.
- As for medication, your doctor may most likely prescribe procaine and hyaluronidase to be injected to you. This is to minimize pain right after the injury. He may also suggest the consumption of a stronger medicine for pain, if needed. For minor discomfort, you may use non-prescription medicines such as aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen.
- During recovery, you should eat a well-balanced diet.
- Except for minor injuries that you can tolerate, you are advised to walk using crutches for 72 hours. Don’t resume normal activities right away.
To avoid further complications, learn to build strength and conditioning. Warm up or do some stretching before practice and competition; put a medical tape to the ankle from mid-foot to mid-calf before doing any heavy activity. If tape is not available, you may warp your ankle with elastic bandages instead or use elastic brace. Additionally, wear proper protective footwear. Most importantly, provide your ankle with enough support when engaging in sports or other heavy activities for 12 months after any significant injury.
As a supplement to the abovementioned treatments and prevention, you may opt to engage in physical therapy or chiropractic care. Both are non-invasive and are considered safe. Weigh your options and identify which is more comfortable for you.