There are instances where unexpected things happen, like when you are trying a new gym routine, or exercise and you unexpectedly step on a bent curb. This causes your ankle to be swollen and painful, hence visibly showing all the signs of being sprained. A sprained ankle is the most common injury that affects people across all ages. It takes place when the ligaments that support the ankle exceed their average range of motion, and thus become stretched or torn.
Giving immediate attention to your sprained ankle can extremely help in speeding up your recovery and decreasing the pain. To help you manage your condition our experts from Boca Raton orthopedics clinic have put together some care tips for treating a sprained ankle.
- The initial step is to check for signs of a sprain. These include:
- Abrupt and sharp pain that causes you to instantly stop from moving around or makes you take weight off the ankle when moving
- Specific pain that is situated on the spot where the injured ligament is located
- Swelling and bruising on the location of the sprain
- Inability to do certain ankle movements
If the symptoms are visible, you have to make sure that the injured ankle is protected. Don’t try to do extensive movements with your sprained ankle, and protect it from any sort of activity by restraining it with a splint or a brace. Immobilizing your sprained ankle helps in inhibiting further injury and decreases the amount of swelling and inflammation. According to our Boca Raton orthopedic clinic’s doctors not protecting the sprained area will slow down your recovery and make the initial recovery phase more difficult.
- The next step is to follow the R.I.C.E treatment protocol
Rest: Make sure your ankle is being rested by avoiding activities that would cause pain to the affected area. You can use crutches to move around, while ensuring your ankle is being rested. By resting, you are allowing your ankle to release the pressure and stress of the injured joint, whilst letting the swelling subside. For faster recovery, you can also do simple range of motion stretches and movements with your ankle – as long as they don’t cause pain.
Ice: Putting ice on your sprained ankle reduces pain and swelling. It is advisable to do this every one to two hours for 15 to 20 minutes. When you put some ice on your ankle make sure to use a cloth, this will serve as a barrier from your skin to prevent the occurrence of an ice burn.
Compression: You can wrap a simple elastic bandage around your ankle for a very light compression. The purpose is to subside the swelling, reduce the pain and stabilize the joint. Remember to loosen or remove the bandage before going to bed.
Elevation: Elevating your ankle will also help to reduce swelling and pain. You can pile up some pillows beneath your ankle while lying down, make sure to elevate your ankle above the level of your heart.
You can also relieve your pain by using creams or over-the-counter medications, such as Tylenol, ibuprofen or naproxen.
After several days of following the R.I.C.E treatment protocol, your sprained ankle will most likely be healed, allowing you to continue with your regular activities. If the extent of your sprain ranges from moderate to severe, then you should continue doing these treatment steps for several weeks or more.
- Get professional help if any of the following occurs:
- The joint is evidently deformed
- The person who is injured is pale or exhibits an unsteady pulse rate
- The person who is injured is experiencing tingling sensations, paralysis or extreme pain
If the above mentioned scenarios relate to you, then, you should seek professional help to receive proper treatment and immediate attention.
You can also obtain services, such as ankle rehabilitation to regain full mobility, coordination, balance and strength. Our Orthopedic clinic in Boca Raton offers a variety of effective rehabilitation plans for different types of injuries and musculoskeletal ailments. They provide the right treatment to their patients and helps them prevent recurrent injuries to the sprained ankle.
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.