Ankle sprains often occur among people who play sports. It is a common injury that can be very painful and may require up to several months of recovery.
You can take specific actions at home to help speed up healing and reduce the risk of a recurring injury. At-home treatment aims to reduce pain and promote recovery while restoring the function of the ankle.
Let’s talk about seven remedies you can try for sprained ankle treatment and where you can go for comprehensive orthopedic care in Springfield, MA.
Painkillers can help ease any inflammation or swelling that contributes to ankle pain.
Most of the time, over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or naproxen sodium can help. If those don’t work, acetaminophen might also be effective.
2. RICE Method
The RICE method is one of the most common remedies for alleviating ankle inflammation and pain. It stands for:
- Rest – Rest is vital for healing a sprained ankle. Refrain from putting weight on the ankle and avoid activities that could worsen the inflammation.
- Ice – Apply ice for 20 minutes every two to three hours daily.
- Compress – Use an elastic bandage or wrap to support the ankle. Only do this until the inflammation dies down, and be sure not to compress your ankle too tightly.
- Elevate – Elevate the ankle whenever possible to reduce swelling.
3. Simple Stretches
Stretching keeps muscles flexible and strong. It also enhances blood circulation in the area of injury, which can help speed up healing.
To stretch the ankle:
- Gently move your foot in all directions three times a day.
- Flex your foot forward, then backward.
- Roll your foot clockwise, then counterclockwise.
- Avoid overextending your ankle, and note any specific movements that cause discomfort or pain.
4. Short Walks
Following an ankle sprain, pain and swelling may be severe. As the swelling eases down, you should start walking again.
The first step is to take short walks within your home. Gradually build up the strength for longer distances as your ankle heals.
It may require holding your ankle in a particular position or adjusting to avoid putting weight on the affected joint. If this happens, wait a couple of days before trying to walk again.
5. Walking Aids
A sprained ankle might make walking challenging, so you may need crutches until the injury doesn’t ache anymore.
Depending on the severity of your sprain, you may need an elastic bandage, sports tape, or support brace for stability.
6. Warm Compress
Applying heat to the injury can increase blood flow and speed recovery. Many people find it helps relax tight muscles, easing pain and tension.
It’s important to note that you should not apply a warm compress while the ankle is still very swollen. Adding more warmth can increase inflammation and further slow down healing.
When the swelling decreases, try alternating cold compresses with hot compresses every 15 to 20 minutes. But be sure to do this only after the inflammation subsides and not immediately after an injury occurs.
Regular exercise restores strength and balance, which can reduce the risk of another sprain. You can begin exercising once most of the swelling in the ankle subsides and walking becomes comfortable again.
You can try doing the following:
- Stand on a low step with your heels hanging backward over the edge. Drop your heels slightly, then hold that position for a few seconds before elevating them above your toes.
- To maintain proper alignment, loop an elastic exercise band under your foot. Gently move your ankle clockwise and counterclockwise to maintain gentle resistance.
- To ensure equal strength in both joints, balance on one foot for 30 to 60 seconds. Then, switch sides.
- To improve balance, try to play catch while balancing on one leg. Do the same for the other leg.
Sprained Ankle Treatment Near You in Springfield, MA
While home remedies may be effective for treating mild ankle sprains, it’s best to consult a physician for better guidance. The Advanced Orthopedics New England team offers comprehensive care for ankle injuries and sprains. Dr. Amanda Fantry is our resident specialist and is highly capable of treating sprains and other foot deformities and issues. These include arthritis, Achilles tendon injuries, and heel pain.
For general inquiries, call us at (413) 788-7321 or any of our offices. We have branches in Bloomfield and Rocky Hill, CT. Visit our website for complete location and contact details. You can also schedule an appointment by submitting an online appointment request form.