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How to care for a sprained ankle

Ankle sprains

Ankle sprains are very common. You can sprain your ankle as a child while playing or even as an adult when you accidentally step on an uneven surface. According to statistics, about 25,000 people do it every day.

Sometimes you lose your balance and sprain your ankle, but if it is not severe, you keep doing what you want to do. But if it is severe, you may see swelling of your ankle and it may hurt very much when you put pressure on the injured leg.

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Types of ankle sprains

A sprained ankle means ligaments which are present on the outer side of your ankle were probably torn or stretched. You cannot ignore it because it can result in long-term problems in the future. Ankle sprains can be of two types- inversion sprain that happens when the ankle is rolled inward or eversion sprain, when the ankle is rolled outward. In case of inversion sprains, you will feel pain on the outer side of the ankle. These are the most common types of ankle sprains. If you feel pain on the inner side of the ankle, it may mean a more serious injury to your ligaments or tendons. We should immediately consult a doctor if you are having that kind of pain.

How do you sprain your ankle?

In most of the cases you sprain your ankle the toes are on the ground and the heel is up. The ligaments of the ankle feel too much of pressure in this position. In such cases, they become vulnerable. If you land on an uneven surface, and your ankle is turned inward, ligaments of your ankle may be hurt.

Fracture and sprain

It is difficult to differentiate a sprain from a fracture or broken bone. You need x-ray to find out whether it’s a sprain or a fracture. If you see significant swelling, deformity or if you are not able to stand on your feet after the injury, you should immediately go to your doctor. A simple x-ray may help the doctor to find out the nature of the injury.

Treatment of sprained ankle

Treatment of the sprained ankle is very much important if you want to prevent stability and chronic pain. You can do the following to create your sprained ankle-

Rest

You should rest your ankle and should not walk on it. Also, do not lift any weight. If necessary, you can use crutches, but you should do that only if there is no fracture. You can also use an ankle brace as it will help you to control swelling. It also helps in healing of your ligaments.

Ice

Ice your ankle because it will help you to control swelling. However, you should not put ice directly on your skin. You can use a thin cloth between the skin and the ice bag. You should not ice your feed more than 20 minutes or otherwise you may suffer from frostbite.

Compression

Compression is helpful in reducing the swelling. It also supports your injury.

Elevate

You need to elevate your foot. Elevate it above your waist or to a height as needed.

Swelling of your foot will reduce after a few days.

Rehabilitation of a sprained ankle

Rehabilitation is needed whenever there is an injury to ligaments. If you want your sprained ankle to heal completely and avoid re injury, you need to rehabilitate your sprained ankle.

Phase I- resting, protecting and reducing ankle swelling

Phase II-restoring the strength, flexibility and range of motion of your ankle

Phase III-go back to normal activity and maintenance exercises. Later, you need to go for some sports like basketball, tennis or football.

To know more about ankle rehabilitation, Click here

References

  1. Hem Ankle Rehab Program
  2. ACL injury prevention
  3. Ankle sprain in adults

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