What to do when you sprain your ankle
A sprained ankle happens when there is an injury to your ankle that stretches or tears ligaments that affixes one bone to another. An ankle injury occurs when a joint is turned or stretched beyond its regular range of movement.
The ligaments surrounding the ankle joints are impacted when the foot rolls inward while walking on uneven surfaces or experiencing a misstep.
Indications you have a sprain ankle
You will experience tenderness to the area, swelling, bruising, as well as discomfort with motion. Due to the fact that these symptoms emulate those of a fracture, it would be wise to seek professional consultation for the next course of action. This is important because it may be hard to differentiate between a sprain and a fracture, as the latter is a serious injury that requires an x-ray and extensive treatment and medication.
Once it is certified that you are experiencing a sprained ankle, these are a few immediate steps you can take to gradually heal it.
- Let your ankle rest: Complete ankle rest eases the tension off the hurt joint, as well as avoids additional damages.
- Ice the injury site: Use Ice to lower swelling and also reduce discomfort around the area that is injured. Apply an ice pack onto the injury site as soon as possible for effective treatment and continue this treatment between 3-4 hours intervals in one day.
- Compression: Compress the injury site by wrapping it with bandages or wearing socks to decrease swelling and to support the joint. Start by covering the toes and wrap the whole length of the foot including the ankle joint. Ensure that the wrapping is not too tight to the extent it restricts blood flow.
- Elevate your foot: Place some pillows under your foot to elevate it to a position higher than your heart. This will limit the blood flow to your injured foot through the action of gravity, thereby reducing swelling at the site.
- Stabilize: To prevent any additional injury, stabilize your sprained ankle with a splint. A stabilizer will help keep your joint in place and avoid even the smallest movement that could aggravate the injury.
Consistently repeat the above steps for the next 3 days following your injury. Simply avoid any unnecessary movement that will set back your progress.
Once you’ve rested for a minimum of 3 days, you can start to rehabilitate your sprained ankle. The process of rehabilitation is a step that should not be skipped to ensure that your ankle has fully healed before commencing regular activities.
A continuous and prolonged ankle injury can lead to life-long complications that may worsen as you age. As such, prevention is better than cure, always be mindful of your surroundings in the comforts of your own home and when you are out and about.