When you stretch your ankle ligaments too far, they end up getting torn, resulting in a sprain. People with sprained ankles usually get them from accidents like falling or tripping. They tend to twist their joint to find balance, resulting in an injury.
Muscle sprains generally heal on their own with time. Minor ankle sprains can take two weeks to heal completely, while severe cases can take as long as twelve weeks. The swelling will be at its peak for 48 hours after the sprain occurs. Nonetheless, you must seek treatment to help the muscles regain strength and avoid future injuries.
1. Follow the PRICE Method
For immediate first aid, doctors recommend using the PRICE method. It stands for:
A splint is an effective tool to prevent you from bending your ankle to avoid further injury.
You can also use braces or crutches for support when walking and standing. That way, your ankle is protected from strain.
As with any other injury, proper rest is essential for healing. Limit yourself from doing physical activities as much as you can. That means no jumping, running, or doing workouts for the time being.
A cold compress can alleviate swelling in the sprained area. Apply an ice pack or cold compress to your ankle for 20 minutes.
Another way to tone down swelling is by compressing the area. Wrapping the ankle with an elastic bandage is a good compression technique to help with the pain.
The final step is to keep the ankle elevated while lying down or sitting. Make sure that the leg is lifted higher than your heart. You can use stacked pillows to do this.
2. Take Anti-Inflammatory Medication
You can expect your ankle to swell once you sprain it. You may take anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen to soothe the swelling. You can do this in conjunction with the PRICE method.
3. Do Ankle Exercises
Once you feel that your ankle hurts less and is more stable, you can try doing simple exercises to strengthen the muscle, like:
- Stand up with both legs.
- Use one hand to find support.
- Lift your uninjured ankle by bending your knee.
- Hold this position for 60 seconds.
- Repeat this for the other ankle.
Keep doing this routine until you get used to it. Eventually, you can increase the hold time as well. The longer you can hold it up, the stronger your ankle is.
4. Consult Your Doctor
Though ankle sprains eventually recover, it’s still best to talk to a doctor. They can assess the injured area and determine if you need any tests.
Doctors often recommend X-rays for ankle sprains, especially if they notice deformities that aren’t just because of the swelling.
Your provider may also recommend physical therapy sessions to strengthen the joint once it heals. Physical therapy will consist of proper running, squatting, and lifting techniques.
If your ankle sprain does not go away or continues to re-occur, your doctor may recommend other treatments. That is also the case if you notice your ankle is unstable while walking and standing.
Sprained Ankle Treatment Near You in Rocky Hill, CT
Are you looking for a sprained ankle treatment near you? The Advanced Orthopedics New England team is ready to assist you. Dr. Amanda Fantry is a fellowship-trained and board-certified ankle specialist who can guide you toward complete recovery. She is qualified to treat ankle and foot issues like sprains, fractures, trauma, Achilles tendon injuries, and other deformities.
To know more about our services, call us today at (860) 728-6740.. You may schedule an appointment for a consultation by submitting an online request form. We have locations in Bloomfield and Springfield. Urgent care is also available at our Enfield and Vernon clinics.