A sprained ankle can occur due to incorrect footwear, accidents and falls. In a sprain, the muscles surrounding the ankle get torn or bruised. This causes incredible pain and swelling.
In order to help a sprained ankle to heal, immediate care and medical attention should be given.
Some Ways To Treat A Sprained Ankle
The first step to protecting a sprained ankle is to immobilize it immediately. Get off your feet and try not to walk on the affected foot. This will cause your ankle to swell up horribly.
Use a bandage or a splint to immobilize the ankle in order to prevent further swelling. If you do not have immediate help at hand call your nearest hospital emergency to help you cope. Being stranded with a sprained ankle can be uncomfortable.
A sprained ankle needs plenty of rest or recovery. This should be done to give the muscles rest. Rest your ankle as much as possible by putting your feet up. Avoid walking if it hurts you. Try to stay off your feet as much as possible and skip work if it means giving your ankle the much needed rest that it deserves.
Icing the sprain will help to reduce the swelling. Ice it for 20 -25 minutes every 1 hour or so for the first day.
This speeds up muscle healing and recovery. Do not put ice directly on your foot. Place the ice in a muslin cloth and apply the cloth directly on the affected foot.
In order to aid the muscle to heal, it is important to compress it. This can be done by applying a tight bandage. The bandage should not be too tight that it restricts blood circulation.
Put The Foot Up
The first day of the sprain is the most crucial. Try to put your foot up by elevating it and placing a pillow under it for support. This will ease off pain and give your muscles the necessary immobility and rest.
See A Doctor
There is a fine line between a sprain and a fracture. A fracture can be excruciating. Hairline fractures are more difficult to diagnose. Hence, it is important to see a doctor. A doctor will conduct necessary x-rays to rule out fractures even if they are minor.
Start Walking After A Few Days
Once you start to feel better, start moving around albeit with support. Take a family member’s support to get around on your feet. Once you start moving, blood circulation will be enhanced to that particular area and you will start to feel immediately better.
Excessive immobilization as mentioned earlier is never good. You can do some mobility exercises like stretching the ankle ligaments.
Doing a fair amount of exercise will help the foot to recover. Here are some popular exercises that you can do to speed up recovery.
While being seated or lying down, write all the English alphabets with your toes by circling them in the air. Use upper case or lower case while writing alphabets. You can also try cursive writing. This exercise helps to strengthen the entire musculature of your foot.
Stretching the Achilles tendon will help the ankle to heal. Lie down and loop the cloth around the toes.
Now gently pull the toes towards yourself. Keep repeating this exercise for 5-10 reps. Do this exercise 3-4 times a day as a rehabilitation exercise.
Strengthening The Foot
Once you gain strength, start exercising the foot. Go for a slow walk. Gradually increase the pace and start jogging. If you feel uncomfortable, stop. Start from the beginning. Gradually retraining your ankle will strengthen it further and make you feel well.
Athletes and sportspersons who suffer from recurring ankle sprains are probably suffering from loose ligaments that need to be tightened. This can be done with the help of surgery in which the doctors repair and tighten the loose ligaments. Hopefully, the patient begins to feel better after the surgery. The surgery is often almost followed up by rehabilitation.
Take refuge and solace from painkillers, which will help to reduce and minimize your pain. Try some OTC painkillers or take pills, which are given to you on prescription. Painkillers will temporarily minimize and reduce the pain. However, it is best to avoid them as much as possible and let the ankle heal on its own.
Use A Crutch Or A Walker
If getting around is a problem, you can temporarily use a walker. A crutch too may help especially if you have to run errands insiWear bootsde your home. Short periods of rest is however advisable.
A good, thick, well-padded shoe will give your ankle the right support. The ideal shoes to wear are ankle boots with laces. These give protection to your ankle without putting too much of strain. Use them with caution and stick to boots, which are comfortable and lightweight.
A combination of cold and hot water therapy is recommended after the first 48 hours when the initial swelling has been considerably reduced. Immerse your feet in cold water for 2 minutes followed by hot water. This mimics a pumping action and helps the fluid from being drained from the leg. As soon as the fluid is drained, you will feel immediate relief.
Give It Time
A sprained ankle can take about two weeks to heal completely. During this time, it is necessary to keep weight off the ankle and give it as much rest as possible. Once you start to feel better, start walking by gingerly placing your foot on the ground. Slowly move onto rehab exercises, which will help the ligaments to heal.
Ankle sprains are routine and not something to be feared. It is important to give it the due medical attention that it deserves with the proper exercise techniques and rehab. Severe sprains and muscle injuries must be shown to a good orthopaedic surgeon who will recommend a course of action. In some cases, surgery and long drawn out rehab may be the only recourse.
Caution: Please use Home Remedies after Proper Research and Guidance. You accept that you are following any advice at your own risk and will properly research or consult healthcare professional.