All it takes is that one step.
You’re stepping off a curb and not paying attention where your foot is landing. Or, maybe you’re deep in the throes of a game and you take a tumble, unaware that your foot has suddenly folded under you at an awkward angle as you tried to stay upright.
No matter the method, a sprained ankle is a common orthopedic injury that can affect anyone from the person taking a walk to the professional athlete.
What is a sprain, exactly?
A sprain is an injury to the ligaments that support and provide stability to the joint. When a sprain occurs, the ligaments are stretched too far, possibly even resulting in a partial or full tear. As a result, you may experience pain, swelling and bruising in the area.
The severity of your symptoms depends on the extent of the damage to the ligaments. If you have sprained your ankle, there are ways to get it back in shape if treatment is performed early.
Five Simple Tips to Care for a Sprained Ankle
1) Protect Your Injured Ankle
This seems simple, but most people don’t adhere to this step. Keep weight off of your ankle immediately following injury, and immobilize it with a splint or brace to prevent further injury.
Stay off of your feet as much as possible for the next couple of days following the injury. When resting, keep your ankle elevated to help reduce swelling.
3) Keep It on Ice
Keep swelling and pain at bay by icing your ankle for 15 to 20 minutes several times a day. (Note: Keeping ice on your ankle for more than 20 minutes could damage nerves.)
4) Wrap It Up
Keep the ankle lightly compressed with an elastic bandage when it isn’t being elevated. The wrapping should be snug, not tight. Wrapping too tightly can decrease blood circulation and slow the healing process.
5) Seek Professional Help
If a sprained ankle does not typically improve after a few days with the right self-treatment—there may be more damage than you realize. Seek the help of a physician to ensure there is not extensive damage. The doctor may recommend rehabilitation techniques to return full mobility, and provide balance and strength to your ankle.
Comprehensive Ankle Care
At NEOSM, our physicians have years of experience in effectively treating all orthopedic conditions and injuries, including those of the foot and ankle. Our multidisciplinary approach to care ensures that patients receive the customized treatment they need to get moving again.
For more information on ankle injury or to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists, contact NEOSM today.