Ankle sprains are common injuries. People can sprain their ankles while taking part in sports, as a result of an accident, or even while walking. Spraining or tearing the ligaments in the ankles occurs when the foot is rolled too far inward or at an awkward angle. These injuries result in a lot of pain as well as other unpleasant symptoms such as swelling of the ankle. Since ankle sprains are so common, it is beneficial to learn how to improve the rate of ankle sprain recovery. In this blog, we discuss the ankle sprain recovery process and how you can speed up your recovery to ensure proper healing of your sprained ankle thus avoiding future complications and further injuries.
Steps to a Faster Ankle Sprain Recovery
If you have suffered an ankle sprain it is best to act as quickly as possible. You should apply the steps below for quicker and more complete recovery.
The first step in recovery is to protect the ankle from further injury. This means avoiding anything that could aggravate the injury and cause further harm. You should take all pressure off the ankle. You can do this by lying or sitting down. Avoid placing any weight on the affected leg if you have to move around.
This is important to give your body the opportunity to heal itself. You should limit moving around. You should especially limit walking. Taking time to rest after the occurrence of the injury will allow the body’s natural healing mechanisms to take action. You should stay off the injured foot as much as possible.
Spraining or tearing ligaments in the ankles will often result in swelling and pain. You can reduce the swelling and help ease the pain by icing the affected ankle. Do not apply ice cubes or frozen objects directly on to the skin. This will result in freezer burn as well as tissue damage. The best way to ice the joint is by wrapping a bag of ice or frozen items in a towel and placing it on your ankle. Another trick is using a bag of frozen corn or peas so you can wrap the bag around the ankle.
This step helps to prevent further swelling of the ankle. Compression will prevent too much fluid from accumulating at the joint. It involves wrapping the foot with an elastic bandage or a tensor. You should wrap your foot all the way from the toes to the mid-calf region. Be careful not to wrap too tightly. Your foot should be comfortable enough to move. If the wrap feels uncomfortably tight or if you feel like you are losing circulation, you should loosen the bandage.
This is the final step in the treatment process. It involves elevating the injured as much as possible during the recovery period. Elevating your leg is not only important for resting and keeping pressure off the foot but also for improving circulation in the leg. Elevating the leg ensures that blood and other fluids do not accumulate in the leg. It will also provide some comfort for your leg.
Other Things You Can Do
There are various things you can do to aid in the ankle sprain recovery process. These include taking pain medication. You can take over-the-counter medication to help with the pain. However, this will not help to heal your injury any faster. If you choose non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), they can help to counter the effects of inflammation such as swelling. You can ask your doctor to prescribe NSAIDs to manage the pain and swelling.
In many instances, you won’t have to visit a doctor for this type of injury. However, if you are experiencing severe pain or if you are not able to put any weight on the ankle at all, you may need to see a doctor. Your injury may be more serious than a sprain. You may have torn a ligament or broken or fractured a bone. You will need to have a doctor examine your foot to determine how serious your injuries are.
Getting Back on Your Feet
When you have dealt with the pain and swelling, you can begin to move around and condition your ankle to take your weight and operate as it did prior to the injury. It is, however, important to remember that there is an adjustment period. You should not push your body too much. Focus more on gentle stretching and strengthening the muscles and ligaments. Simply walking and stretching your foot will help to make the muscles and ligaments stronger and more flexible. Exercises such as balancing on the sprained leg for 10 seconds at a time will help to improve balance as well as strength.
If you’re experiencing extreme pain, get in touch with Dr. Chris Boone to schedule an appointment for an examination of your injury.