A twisted ankle is a common injury that can result in excruciating pain and swelling. Running over uneven surface, walking carelessly down the stairs, playing or any other activity that causes twisting or wrenching of the ankle ligaments can result in a twisted or sprained ankle.
Sportsmen and younger children are prone to suffering from this problem due to the intense physical activity. The ankle joint also known as the talocrural joint connects the legs to the feet and is an important body joint as it bears the body weight of a person.
A sprained ankle is the result of tear in the ligaments surrounding this joint. The initial symptom of a twisted ankle is intense pain. This can be followed by swelling, tenderness and redness of the affected area. The pain is intensified when the person tries to move around.
Taking good care and some immediate treatment measures will not only aid in relieving the pain but also help in speeding up the healing process of the twisted ankle. Here are some common steps that can be used for healing a sprained ankle.
- The first thing that you need to do is to protect the ankle and rest it. Do not put any pressure on the affected ankle and protect it first with a brace or splint. In addition to this you will also need to rest your ankles. This does not mean that you do not move around at all. Instead simple aerobic exercises without placing any pressure on the ankles will aid in blood flow to the ankles and promote faster healing.
- Elevate your sprained foot to avoid fluid retention and ankle swelling. Place a few pillows under the ankle so that the ankles are elevated and the fluid does not pool around the joints.
- Alternate hot and cold compresses can help in reducing the swelling and pain associated with a twisted ankle. For this contrast therapy you will need two buckets, one filled with hot water and the other filled with cold water. Place the affected ankle in the bucket of hot water and try to make alphabets using your toe. After two minutes, remove the foot from the hot water and place it in cold water. Repeat the same steps four to five times approximately three times a day. The alternate hot and cold treatment allows the blood vessels to expand and constrict alternately. This helps in faster recovery of a twisted ankle.
- Applying an ice pack for around fifteen minutes helps in numbing the pain and reducing the swelling of the sprained ankle. Keep doing this several times a day for the best results. Instead of using ice wrapped in a cloth you can also use a bag of frozen peas or corn.
- Wrapping a compression or a crepe bandage also helps in speedy recovery. It is important to keep in mind that the compression bandage should not be wrapped too tight around the ankle else it can restrict blood flow. If the pain persists or the swelling rapidly increases it is best to seek medical help.