Anankle sprain is one of the most common injuries that may occur during sports and everyday activities. You can even have it while you walk. A sprain in the ankle occurs due to the overstretching or tearing of the ligament that supports the ankle.
According to The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeon, a sprained ankle can easily be treated with the non-surgical therapies, which are quite effective. So, do not worry at all, and let your ankle heal. The healing can take 4-6 weeks, depending on the severity of the sprain. Meanwhile, you should do the following steps:
Steps to follow in case of Ankle sprain
- RICE therapy (It means rest, ice, compression, and elevation)
- Rest: Take a proper rest, allowing the natural healing, by limiting your walking and moving around. When you walk, use a support like a cane or a crutch. Be careful to avoid any slips that may further harm the injured area.
- Ice therapy: Apply ice on the ankle over a thin cloth for 20 minutes. Repeat it for 4-5 times in a day for the first 3 days after the injury.
- Compression: Compression is effective to reduce the swelling. Wrap the injured area with an elastic bandage applying pressure to the sprained ankle and its surrounding area. Do not apply too much pressure, so that the blood circulation is not affected.
- Elevation: Elevate the injured leg as much as you can. It can help avoid the swelling, and also allows blood to circulate well in those areas to provide faster healing. You can use some pillows to elevate the limb.
- If the pain and swelling do not subside after 2-3 days, then visit your doctor for medical assistance. Your doctor may prescribe you some medication for quick relief. He/she may also suggest an air splint or cast boot to wear.
- The doctor may also advise for rehabilitation therapy to avoid any long-term problems. For every ligament injury, rehabilitation is important, because it helps in complete healing, and also reduces the risk of re-injury.
After you recover, it is important to be careful about the body’s warning signs to prevent the future attack of the ankle sprain. So, you should slow down accordingly if you feel any pain or discomfort in that particular area to maintain the muscle balance, and also keep the soft tissues healthy.
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Dr. Kaleem Mohammed graduated as a Bachelor of Physiotherapy in 2014 from Deccan College of Physiotherapy, affiliated to Dr. N.T.R. University of Health Sciences, Vijayawada, India. Dr. Kaleem is an expert at handling physiotherapy needs of patients suffering from orthopedic and spinal conditions and post-surgery rehabilitation. Dr. Kaleem is associated with HealthClues since its inception where he facilitates diagnosis and advanced consultation with senior doctors. He is also a medical researcher and prolific writer who loves sharing insightful commentaries and useful tips to educate the patient community about fitness, treatment options, and post-treatment recovery.