Primary care providers often see sprained ankles as the most common type of muscuskeletal injury. Athletes or any other individual involved in vigorous activities are the ones who have a higher risk of acquiring this. An unusual twisting motion of the ankle joint can occur when the foot is planted uncomfortably, when the ground is bumpy, or when an uncommon extent of force is applied to the joint.
Whenever you think you might have a sprained ankle, the initial action that you are going to take is to find out the symptoms of a sprain. This may include:
• Abrupt, sharp pain that pressures you to instantly stop moving or take the weight off the ankle
• Pain that’s found on the spot of the injured ligament (for instance, on the inside of your ankle)
• At the site of the sprain, there is swelling or bruising
• Inability to move the ankle in a firm way
The next thing to do is to apply the treatment protocol taught by medical professionals which is the R.I.C.E, abbreviation for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. This is a famous method used to manage injuries like sprains and this is the most recommended approach for caring for the injured limb.
So, what exactly R.I.C.E is
Here are the guidelines of R.I.C.E that you must know.
Rest your ankle. Never use the affected leg in walking, and avoid unnecessary movements especially that requires weight. You may want to use crutches for assistance. Keep in mind that it’s safe to put some weight if there’s no fracture.
Ice it to limit the swelling. Never attempt to apply the ice directly on the skin. Secure a thin piece of cloth like a pillowcase and place it between the ice bag and the skin. Apply the ice no more than 20 minutes at a time to prevent frost bite.
Compression is very important. It can help in controlling the swelling along with immobilization and supporting the injury. Another thing that an help is an ankle brace.
Elevate the foot by means of reclining and propping it up beyond the waist or heart as necessary.
After this technique, expect the swelling to get off in a few days.
In most circumstances, the need for OTC or over the counter drugs may arise. These medications include Motrin IB, Advil, and more. Just make sure to be careful in taking your medications. Never attempt to overdose it to reduce the pain instantly as serious problems may occur.
As soon as the swelling and pain are minimized enough to restore usual movement, your doctor will give you instructions on appropriate exercises to reinstate your ankle’s range of motion, strength, flexibility, and immovability. You may have to endure these exercises until fully recovered.
Balance and stability training is particularly vital to have the ankle muscles to work together supporting the ankles and preventing the recurrence of sprains. These exercises may comprise several degrees of balance task, such as standing using only one leg.
It’s always safe to obtain definite instructions from your physical therapist or doctor about when you can actually restore your regular activities. There are several tests they can be performed to determine how well your ankle has improved and if it may able to function normally for the sports you are practicing. Never be afraid to clarify any doubts you have in mind regarding your recovery.
Furthermore, in order to avoid twisted ankles in the future, you have to closely listen to your body’s warning signs to decelerate whenever you feel pain or weariness, and stay fit with good muscle tone and balance, stability, and strength in your soft tissues. As the famous line says, prevention is always better than cure.