So you are running along minding your own business when all of a sudden you step in a pot hole or misjudge the curb then OUCH! You roll your ankle! Part of being an athlete or working out on a regular basis is the risk of injury such as a sprained ankle. Early treatment can help you speed up your recovery and get you back out there in no time. Follow these simple steps to help you sustain and treat a sprained ankle.
As soon as you have sprained your ankle get to a resting place as quickly and safely as you can. Try to apply as little pressure as possible. Then use the RICE technique – Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation to initiate your treatment from home.
• Rest your ankle, do not walk around and further aggravate the sprain.
• Ice immediately for 15-20 minutes in ice cold water. This will help bring the swelling down.
• Compression - Once you have finished icing, wrap your ankle in ace bandage using a figure 8 pattern that starts from the outside in. Make sure the wrap is snug but not too tight that it does not allow blood flow.
• Elevate the foot above the heart to help reduce swelling. Elevation will also assist in reducing the amount of swelling to the injured site.
Once you have contained the swelling of your sprained ankle, generally by the following day, you will want to introduce movement and mild massage. Range of motion movements will help break up the damaged tissues faster. You will also want to continue with ice baths and start a warm Epson salt bath as well. You can find Epson salt at your local drugstore just follow the instructions on the bag. Continue to use the Epson Salts after your ankle starts to feel better. You should soak 15 minutes a day 3 times throughout the week until swelling has completely subsided.
If you have a severe sprain and the methods above are not healing your sprained ankle go see an orthopedic doctor or chiropractor for more advanced methods.