Posted on: 22 February 2016Share
A sprained ankle is a common foot injury. They result from torn or stretched ligaments, which hold the ankle bones together and prevent them from shifting out of place. Ankle sprains are caused by different factors. You might twist the ankle severely when walking or running, land awkwardly on one of your feet after jumping, or slip off your high-heeled shoe when walking. Common signs for an ankle sprain include tenderness or pain on the ankles, swelling, or numbness around the ankle. In case of a sprain, you have to take time to rehabilitate the ankle and let it recover. Here are a few things you should do to when caring for your sprained ankle:
Get an ankle brace
An ankle brace is a removable garment worn to fit the ankle area. Ankle sprains cause a lot of discomfort whenever there is movement at the joint. Therefore, you need something that will help you hold the injured ankle joint in place and prevent those painful movements. By immobilising the joint, the ligament has adequate time to stay in place and heal with minimal interruption.
Elevate the sprained ankle
When lying on your couch, elevate the injured ankle such that the ankle is above the rest of the body. The elevation is therapeutic. It is a simple way of reducing the blood supply to the area, which helps to keep the sprained ankle from swelling. It also makes the area less painful.
Rest the ankle
Rest is important when rehabilitating a sprained ankle. Avoid unnecessary movement that forces you to put pressure on the ankle or swing it when hopping on one leg. This gives the torn or stretched ligaments time to recover and reinstate the connection that existed before the injury. If you do not rest the ankle, it might take longer to recover because you risk stretching or tearing the ligaments again. This forces you to start the healing process all over again.
Ice the ankle
Ice prevents inflammation or swelling of the injured ligaments. Have a regular schedule to ice the injured ankle for a certain number of times during the day. When using the ice, avoid direct contact between the skin and the ice to minimise chances of frostbite. Preferably, place a thin cloth between the skin and the ice.
If you cannot get an ankle brace, you can compress the injured ankle using a bandage or an elastic wrap. However, the compression wraps should not be too tight because they will prevent blood flow to the area.
If you need help, contact a podiatrist.