An ankle sprain is one of the most common foot injuries you can suffer. It happens when your ligamentous or muscular tissue is torn due to physical exertion and to the extent that your ankle cannot support the pressure from walking without causing severe pain.
Such sprains are not difficult to treat. However, though tempting for some, neglecting to treat it risks a chronic injury down the road. In fact, 20% to 40% of ankle sprains turn into chronic problems due to additional injuries sustained by the parts surrounding the ankle.
There are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind after spraining your ankle that will allow you to return to the gym, track, trail, pool, or sidewalk in a matter of days.
Do Seek Medical Attention
A sprained ankle may be hard to diagnose from your home. You need to seek urgent care professionals to really know your condition. If at all possible, visit the doctor on the same day you sustained the injury. This way, you can undergo necessary tests while the injury is still fresh.
Do Get Some Rest
No matter how busy you are, take the time to rest your ankle. It must be immobilized to completely heal. However, to prevent the ligaments from healing into a lax position, be careful of how you position your ankle. The ligaments must return to their tight and stable nature to avoid chronic instability and further injury.
Do Undergo Physical Therapy
Physical therapy is an essential part of your recovery. It may be hard and painful at first, but it’s necessary for your ankle to regain the strength it lost. Physical therapy involves a set of exercises that will help your ankle regain stability. For example, standing on one foot and utilizing a wobble board are two effective ways to recover.
Don’t Take It for Granted
Even if you have a high tolerance for pain or you’ve sprained your ankle before, you shouldn’t try walking off a sprained ankle. Doing so will prevent it from undergoing its natural healing process. Your muscles and tissues need rest after the exertion they experienced. Leaving it on its own without proper treatment can only result in chronic problems such as arthritis, more pain, and more swelling.
Don’t Delay Treatment
To recover quickly, you need to seek treatment as soon as you can. Putting off treatment will only allow your ligaments more time to heal improperly, making the ankle unstable in the long run.
These do’s and don’ts will guide you towards a quick and full recovery. Of course, listen to the advice of your doctor, who can answer any questions you might have.
Ankle Sprain Treatment: The Do’s and Don’ts, Footankleinstitute.com
Ankle Sprains: Healing and Preventing Injuries, Familydoctors.org