Ankle sprains are one of the most common foot and ankle injuries, especially for athletes. But a sprained ankle can happen to anyone. An uneven sidewalk, a trip on some stairs, or a fall from a step stool can all result in pain and discomfort that can keep you off your feet for a bit.
If you do believe you have sprained your ankle, you can ease your pain and reduce the chances of further injury by taking some simple treatment steps immediately after your accident. Signs that you may have a sprained ankle include:
- Inability to put weight on the affected foot
The RICE Approach
The treatment protocol for ankle sprains and many other soft tissue injuries can be easily remembered by the mnemonic R-I-C-E: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation.
- Keep weight off of the ankle as much as possible. This may mean not only staying off your feet but also may involve the use of crutches for a period of time.
- The inflammation and swelling that develop after an ankle sprain is a result of damage to blood vessels at and around the injury area. You’ll want to decrease the blood flow through those inflamed vessels to minimize and reduce that swelling, and applying cold gets the job done. Cold and ice can quickly constrict the blood vessels in your skin and underlying tissues, which decreases blood flow. For the first 48 to 72 hours or until the swelling goes down, apply an ice pack for 10 to 20 minutes every one to two hours throughout the day.
- Swelling can also be reduced by using an elastic compression wrap for the first 24 to 36 hours after the injury. While you should wrap the ankle tight, don’t wrap it too tight. You’ll know it’s too tight if you experience numbness, tingling, increased pain, coolness, or swelling below the bandage.
- When you’re laying in bed or sitting on the couch, try to keep the injured ankle elevated above your head for a couple of hours each day to further reduce swelling and bruising.
Also, feel free to take over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen to help with pain and swelling.
Most ankle sprains will heal on their own if cared for quickly and properly. If, however, the pain and other manifestations of the injury are severe or do not seem to be getting better, you should see an experienced podiatrist or other physicians as soon as possible.
JAWSpodiatry: Hollywood, Florida Foot and Ankle Specialists
If you are experiencing ongoing pain or discomfort from an ankle sprain, the experienced and skilled podiatrists at JAWSpodiatry in Hollywood, Florida can help. We offer the highest degree of care in a welcoming, comfortable environment. To undergo a medical evaluation of your ankle trauma, contact JAWSpodiatry at 954-922-7333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on our services.