How To Treat a Sprained Ankle

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It is most common in sports such as soccer, football, and basketball. However an ankle sprain can happen from just about any physical activity. It can also happen spontaneously from a trip or a fall. Here are a few things to know about sprained ankles, such as the severity, the treatments, and timetable for a healthy return.

Diagnosing a sprained ankle is based on a few things. Generally you can determine if your ankle is sprained or not at home. The most common signs are swelling around the ankle, tenderness, and bruising. When it comes to sprained ankles there it may be difficult or painful to put weight on the injured leg. For a more serious ankle sprain seeing a doctor is recommended. A doctor can perform a few tests to better determine the severity of the sprain and offer the best plan of action for healing. After performing a physical exam on the injured leg, your doctor may request an x-ray or MRI. These are usually used for a more serious injury. These tests will help rule out a fracture, as well as examine the ankle for more serious ligament damage.

After the diagnosis of a sprained ankle there is a standard recovery practice. With a sprained ankle treatment is aimed to help the healing process as well as prevent future injuries. Firstly, it is highly recommended to not put pressure on the injured leg. Using crutches if needed can help with mobility. Using an ankle compression is another important factor. Using an elastic bandage or an ankle brace can both help keep you swelling down. It is also recommended to keep the foot elevated. If the foot is elevated it will help reduce swelling and help with the pain. Using ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help alleviate pain as well.

There is also the RICE method of treating sprained ankles. The R in the acronym stands for rest. Depending on the severity of the ankle sprain, trying to do daily activities or resume sports can cause the injury to get worse. It is important to rest until the pain subsides. I stands for ice. Again this is to help reduce swelling, as well as help reduce some of the pain. C stands for compression. Wrapping the injured ankle can help reduce swelling, but be careful not to apply the compression too tightly. E stands for elevation. Keeping the injury above the heart can help reduce pain, and the throbbing feeling. Use pillows to prop up the ankle as much as you can.

Depending on the severity of a sprained ankle, it can sometimes require surgery. But most will not require that level of treatment. Depending on the level of ankle sprain it can take a few weeks to heal, while a more serious ankle sprain may take upwards of a few months to fully heal. To help prevent injuries like this again there are strength training exercises for your ankle. Your doctor may recommend you these to help rehabilitate your ankle. It is important in the future to warm-up as well as stretch before exercise or strenuous activity. This can help further prevent injuries in the future.