A sprained ankle is typically defined as a sudden, forceful twisting of the foot and ankle. Ankles are the most common area of injury in the body because they are not protected by muscle or bone. A sprained ankle can be painful, and it may also lead to long-term problems that may make physical activity difficult. Treatment for a sprain should start immediately after injury. Here are some steps to help you heal your sprained ankle at home.
How To Sprain Your Ankle While Running?
A sprain is when the ligaments in your ankle are stretched beyond their normal range of motion. This can happen if you twist your ankle, or if you land awkwardly from falling. It’s considered a mild injury, but it can be painful and slow to heal.
- You’re not wearing the right shoes
- You’re not running on a flat surface
- Your foot is turning inwards or outwards
- Your foot is landing on a hard surface
- You are running up and down hills
- Your heels are coming up off of the ground too much (pronation)
- You’re tired, dehydrated, or dizzy
How To Treat A Sprained Ankle At Home?
- Keep your ankle elevated above the level of your heart by using a pillow or rolled-up towel under the foot.
- Place an ice pack on your injured ankle for 20 minutes, 3 times per day.
- Elevate your leg above heart level as much as possible while resting to help reduce swelling and prevent further damage from occurring.
- Apply a cold compress to the area for 10 minutes, 3 times per day until the pain subsides.
- Apply an ice pack for 20 minutes, 3 times per day to help reduce swelling and inflammation in the ankle joint and surrounding tissues, which may make you feel better faster than other treatments do.
- Get plenty of rest to allow swelling and inflammation in the area to subside before returning to normal activities such as walking or running after a few days of rest (a week is ideal).
- Avoid activities that cause pain in your ankle until it feels better.
The Best Way To Prevent A Sprained Ankle
A sprain is typically caused by a sudden, forceful twisting of the foot and ankle. This can be painful, and it may also lead to long-term problems that may make physical activity difficult. Treatment for a sprain should start immediately after injury. Here are some steps to help you heal your sprained ankle at home
- Rest the ankle and do not walk on it. Moving your injured foot will increase swelling and pain. Use crutches if necessary
- Apply ice packs or ice cubes wrapped in a damp cloth to the injured area for 20 minutes every hour for up to 72 hours
- Take ibuprofen for inflammation, take acetaminophen for pain relief, or use both medications as directed
- Apply compression bandages if available.
- For mild sprains, try using an elastic support wrap around the injured ankle before you walk on it again.
- Do gentle stretching exercises when you’re ready to walk again.
Symptoms Of A Sprained Ankle
The first step is to stop any activity that might be putting unnecessary pressure on your ankle. You can do this with a splint or by wearing a boot for several days. Once the swelling has gone down, you can start walking again. It may take a few weeks before you can begin to jog or run again. A physical therapist can help you heal faster by strengthening the muscles and improving your flexibility and balance in these areas.
Resting your ankle:
When resting after an injury, it’s important to keep your leg bent at 90 degrees so that blood doesn’t pool in your ankle. If your ankle is bent too much, it could cause a blood clot in the joint, which may lead to further complications down the road.
Wearing a boot:
It’s also important to wear a boot at night while sleeping so that swelling doesn’t go down during the night and then come back up during the day. Wearing a boot during the day will also give you a little time to heal before beginning any physical activity.
Splinting your ankle:
When your ankle is swollen and painful, it’s important to keep the swelling down with a splint. The splint should be easy to put on and take off, but should still support the ankle so that it doesn’t bend too much. It’s a good idea to wear the splint for several days after an injury, especially if you’re not sure about how long you’ll be out of activity.
There are several things that you can do to prevent injuries in the future. If you’re an athlete, make sure that your shoes fit well and aren’t too tight or too loose around the ankle area. Also, avoid wearing overly thick socks when running because they can cause you to slide around on the ground and cause more injury if you get caught under your foot while running.
When To Call The Doctor?
If you have had an injury to your ankles for at least two weeks and it causes pain that is severe enough for you to want to get help, call your doctor right away. This is especially important if it was a fall that caused the injury. If you are unsure whether or not to call, here are some signs that could indicate you need medical attention:
1) The pain comes and goes
2) You have a fever
3) You are unable to walk or put any weight on the injured ankle
4) There is swelling around your ankle (bruising)
5) Your ankle swells up and down with movement.
Apply Ice To Reduce Pain And Swelling
- Place an ice pack on your ankle for 15 minutes.
- Remove the ice and then apply an ACE bandage on the bottom of your foot to elevate it above your ankle (to help prevent swelling).
- Apply a compression bandage around your ankle to limit swelling and increase circulation. Be sure to wrap the ACE bandage tightly so that there are no gaps in the wrap.
- If you have a hard time wrapping it, you can use a tourniquet or elastic wrap instead of a compression bandage (but don’t use one if you have any broken bones).
- Repeat steps 1-4 every 2 hours until you are able to get out of bed comfortably (usually 24 hours).
- After 24 hours, remove all wraps and apply a walking boot if needed or try to walk with crutches or a brace on your ankle as tolerated by pain level (usually 6-10 days).
Sprained ankles are common in sports, but not just limited to that. In fact, they are on the rise in the elderly population and can be caused by a variety of different circumstances. Sprained ankles are not a serious injury, but they may still be painful and cause you to miss several days of work. As always, if you have any questions or concerns regarding your ankle pain, contact your doctor.