How to prevent and recover from ankle sprains
There is a wise old saying, “prevention is better than cure” and this is notable relating to ankle injuries. Ankle sprains are among the most common of all injuries that occur daily, and a lot of them are preventable. After all, not all ankle accidents happen while playing sport or stumbling over a hard object that you have not noticed, until you feel the ankle pain and realise that you have hurt yourself.
One method of preventing an ankle injury is by wearing shoes that give good ankle support, and by paying particular attention to where you walk. Uneven surfaces are a contributing factor to sudden falls causing ankle sprains. When playing sport, never neglect to warm up thoroughly before you begin participating. Keep your body in relaxed mode, and while playing, be alert for any signs of fatigue. Should you sprain your ankle, do not neglect it and adopt the attitude that the pain will go away. It needs medical attention otherwise you could end up with a permanent ankle injury, causing instability.
What is an Ankle Sprain? When you have an ankle sprain, the elastic type ligaments of the ankle joint suffer injury, preventing turning or stretching of the ankle without pain. Several muscles control the ankle’s movement, each of which has a tendon connecting it to the bones of the foot. In the case of a serious sprain, the ligaments become either partially or completely torn. For accurate diagnosis of an ankle sprain, it is necessary to undergo an X-ray to determine whether the bone is broken.
Recovery Ankle pain and the swelling from a sprain usually last for a few days, and should completely heal within three to six weeks. The common recovery treatment goes under the acronym RICE.
• Rest and do not walk on the foot • Ice - apply ice packs on the ankle for approximately twenty minutes, four times a day to help reduce the swelling • Compression - bandaging the ankle helps to stabilise the joint and minimise the pain and swelling • Elevate the ankle higher than heart level for forty-eight hours
With more severe ankle sprains, medical experts recommend use of splints or casts for keeping the joint in one position for a set period. If, it is then painful to walk, the use of crutches is advised. Physiotherapy or exercises for doing at home are recommended for prevention of scarring or joint stiffness. Where the sprain is less severe, it may be recommended to wear an Ankle Support such as those from TalarMade that are used for recovery and also prevention. To control the pain, NSAIDS, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, like ibuprofen are suggested.
As mentioned above, ankle sprains can be very painful and can last for three – six weeks. It is important to always get an ankle sprain checked in order to check that it isn’t more severe. Remember, prevention is better than cure, particularly is such an injury that occurs so often.
Seek advise from a Healthcare Practitioner
Place ice on the ankle as soon as possible
Try to keep pressure off the ankle for 48 hours