Treatment of Ankle Sprains
Friday, June 8, 2018
Did you know that more than 20,000 people get an ankle sprain in a day?
When the ankle is injured, sometimes the pain might go away fairly quickly. In other cases, there could be a severe sprain, the amount of swelling to your ankle can be an indication of the injury’s seriousness. You might also experience a sharp pain when you try to stand.
An ankle sprain occurs when ligaments of the ankle joint are torn or stretched. You can avoid long-term problems by properly treating the sprained ankle. Normally the ankle might be rolled outward (eversion sprain) or inward (inversion sprain). Pain on the outer side of the ankle means that there might be an inversion sprain.
Treatment of Your Sprained Ankle
Your sprained ankle needs to be treated to prevent instability and chronic pain. If the sprain is of Grade I, then follow these P.R.I.C.E. guidelines:
Swelling is likely to reduce after a few days. However, more healing time is required for a Grade II sprain due to the increased swelling and bruising caused by a minor tear to a ligament.
- Protect the area from further injury.
- Rest your ankle. If needed, use crutches when walking and put less weight on the joint when standing.
- Ice applied to the affected area will help to reduce swelling. Do not use ice for more than 20 minutes out of each hour, use several times throughout the day. Use a thin piece of cloth, like a dish towel between the ice pack and the skin to avoid frostbite or ice burn of the skin.
- Compression applied to the affected area will add stability and control swelling. Try using an ace wrap or an ankle brace.
- Elevate the injured foot above waist height when seated. This will help to control both swelling and pain.
A Grade III sprain is serious and can permanently damage your ankle. Sometimes the doctor would recommend a surgery to repair the complete tear of the ligament. This complete tear will cause significant pain, swelling and bruising of the ankle. For serious ankle sprains walking isn’t impossible but you may need a walking boot or a short leg cast for additional support. Repeated ankle sprains might need a surgical procedure in order to tighten the ligaments.
Rehabilitation of Your Sprained Ankle
Rehabilitation is needed to completely heal the sprained ankle and avoid future occurrence of injuries. There are three stages of recovery for ankle sprains:
According to the doctor’s advice, you need to do specific exercises to increase your coordination, balance and flexibility and strengthening your ligaments and muscles. A few days or months later, depending on your recovery and the severity of the sprain, you will begin to feel better.
- Phase I: Taking proper rest to protect the ankle injury and reduce the swelling.
- Phase II: Restoring the strength and flexibility of your ankle.
- Phase III: Taking some time to return to exercises and daily activities.
If your ankle sprain is painful or interfering with daily activities, you might consider seeking medical treatment. Doctors' Urgent Care medical staff can take xrays on site, if needed, and the medical provider will evaluate your ankle to provide treatment to get you on the road to recovery.