Sprained ankles are a common injury. This problem occurs when the ligaments in your ankle are torn or stretched. Most people are able to recover from a sprain without any complications. However, it is important to start caring for your ankle as soon as it is sprained. There are a number of things that you can do to heal from an ankle sprain.
Use the R.I.C.E. Method
R.I.C.E is the abbreviation of rest, ice, compression, and elevation. This method is one of the keys to recovering from an ankle injury. You will need to rest your ankle by not putting any weight on it. Your doctor may recommend that you get around on crutches to keep the weight off of your ankle.
You can use ice to keep the swelling to a minimum. Avoid putting the ice directly on your skin. You can wrap the ice in a towel or a pillowcase. Do not apply ice for more than 20 minutes at a time.
Compression helps reduce the swelling. You can use an ACE wrap to decrease the swelling. Additionally, elevating the area helps reduce the swelling. You will need to keep your foot elevated above your heart level. The gravity will help drain the excess fluid in your ankle.
Wear an Ankle Brace
A brace will support your ankle and prevent it from getting re-injured. An ankle brace can also reduce pain and swelling. The extent of your injury will determine how long you will have to wear your ankle brace. You will need to wear an ankle brace until the swelling and pain go away. Your ankle should also be stable before you stop wearing the brace.
You can wear AFO brace socks along with your brace. The socks are designed to reduce discomfort and irritation. They can also keep the perspiration away from your skin.
Use Over-the-Counter Medication
Over-the-counter medication, such as Aleve and Motrin, can be used to manage pain. They can also reduce inflammation. Capsaicin cream, which is also available over-the-counter, is another treatment that can be used to reduce pain. Capsaicin cream works by reducing substance P. Substance P is a compound that triggers pain and inflammation.
Your doctor may recommend that you start physical therapy after the pain is gone or mostly subsided. Your physical therapist can teach you a series of exercises that strengthen your ankle. Physical therapy will also help your ankle muscles to work together. Not only does this strengthen your ankle muscles but it also helps retrain your muscles. This reduces your chances of suffering another ankle injury.
It is a good idea to consult with your doctor or physical therapist before you start exercising again. You may have to undergo additional tests before you are able to return to your normal activities.
Many of us will have a sprained ankle at some point. The key to properly recovering from an ankle sprain is to take the right steps. You will need to use the R.I.C.E. method. You will also need to wear an ankle brace and AFO socks. Over-the-counter medications can be used to reduce the pain and swelling caused by your injury. Furthermore, you can get physical therapy when the pain is gone.