Amidst sporting activities, slips and falls, a sprained ankle is very common. However, knowing the right treatment is essential to speed up the recovery process and prevent further injuries. Here we discuss a comprehensive guide on how to treat a sprained ankle with 3 important tips.
1. Rest and Elevation
Immediate rest is necessary to prevent exacerbating the injury. Avoid putting pressure on the ankle as much as possible and keep it elevated with a pillow or cushion. This will help reduce the swelling and help to avoid any further injuries.
Using an ice pack or frozen vegetables packed in a cloth bag, apply it on the affected area for about 20 minutes. This will help to reduce the swelling and alleviate the pain. Do not apply for longer than 20 minutes as it can cause more damage than good and remember to use ice every two to three hours.
Compressing the ankle with a wrap can help to reduce the swelling and provide support to the ankle and help with the healing process. Wraps are available over the counter or you can use elasticated bandage.
While compression wraps provide compression, they cannot provide the same level of support an ankle brace can provide. Ankle braces are available to fit any ankle size and ensure proper fit and maximum support.
3. Exercise and Rehabilitation
Once the swelling has gone down and movement is easier, it is important to start with light stretching exercises to regain range of motion. Start by flexing and pointing toes and then gently rotate the ankle. Progressively increase the intensity of the exercise but always remember to stop if any pain occurs.
Balance and Strengthening Exercises
Balance exercises not only help to regain balance but also strengthen the muscles and tendons around the ankle. Balance exercises such as one-leg balancing helps to improve coordination. Strengthening exercises can be done with light weights or bands for a gradual increase in resistance.
People Also Ask
1. How long do sprained ankles take to heal?
The time taken to heal a sprained ankle can vary depending on the severity of the injury. Generally it can take between 4 to 6 weeks to completely heal.
2. What should you do if you have a sprained ankle?
If you have a sprained ankle, you should rest, ice and compress the ankle, as well as wear a supportive ankle brace or wrap. Stretching and strengthening exercises should also be done once the swelling has reduced, in order to regain range of motion and strength.
3. Is heat or ice better for a sprained ankle?
Ice is the recommended treatment initially as it helps to reduce the swelling and inflammation. After 24-48 hours, warm heat can be used to relax and loosen the joints and muscles.
4. How should you wrap a sprained ankle?
To wrap a sprained ankle, use an elastic bandage and begin from the toes, wrapping upwards in a circular direction from the inside of the ankle to the outside. Make sure the wrap is firm but not too tight. Continue wrapping up the leg and halfway up the calf.
5. Is a sprained ankle considered a disability?
No, a sprained ankle is not considered a disability. However, depending on the severity of the injury, it can limit mobility and require a lot of rest and rehabilitation to fully recover.
A sprained ankle can have a huge impact on daily life, however, with proper care and treatment, it can be managed successfully. Moreover, any activity that involves the ankle should be done with caution to avoid any further injuries.