An ankle sprain is very common and can happen to anyone. It is also more common in seniors due to aging, a fall, or lack of good posture. And in case you are wondering what ankle pain is, it means an injury to the ligament(s) in your ankle.
According to healthcreeds, an ankle sprain is one of the common foot injuries people experience on daily basis. The sprain may be mild if it is a result of irritating or overstretching the ligaments. But if the pain is much, it could be because the ligaments have torn.
Usually, an ankle sprain heals by itself over time and may not require a visit to the doctor. However, severe cases need the attention of a doctor as surgery may be required.
Nevertheless, if you have sprained your ankle, you can apply the R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevate) approach first to see if it gets better.
What does R.I.C.E. entail?
Rest: The first letter in the R.I.C.E. acronym is R and simply means Rest. The best thing you can do for a sprained ankle is to let it rest because it quickens the healing. Even if you are not feeling much pain, don’t be tempted to go back to the activity or sports that caused the injury. Get as much rest as you can.
Ice: The “I” refers to ice. Apply ice to your ankle sprain for 15 to 20 minutes so as to reduce the swelling and ease the pain. The ice must be wrapped in a towel before applying to the ankle. And, you may want to speak with your doctor first if you have decreased sensation, are diabetic, or have vascular disease before using the ice.
Compression: Apply some pressure to the ankle like wrapping it with a bandage to help with the swelling. The compression will also stabilize the sprained ankle. Make sure to wrap not just the ankle but the surrounding area as well. The wrap should be tight but not too tight to cut off blood circulation.
Elevate: Try to elevate the ankle with a pillow or a footrest as often as you can. This ensures proper circulation is maintained and that fluid doesn’t accumulate in the joint. It also helps with the swelling.
Other tips to hasten to heal
- Take ibuprofen to help with the pain and swelling
- Use crutches when walking to avoid putting weight on the sprained ankle
- Once the swelling goes down, walk around to promote healing
- Gentle massage of the heel, leg or, even the sprained ankle can offer some relief
In most cases, an ankle sprain doesn’t necessarily need a visit to a doctor. And applying the tips shared above will have you up and about in no time.
But, if you are experiencing unusual pain or suspect that you may have injured more than your ligaments, it’s important to seek medical care. Proper diagnosis and treatment (may include surgery) will ensure that the issue is properly handled.