Ankle injuries are among the most common of all sports-related ankle injuries and are also quite serious. When your ankle rolls inward or outward, it can be painful and cause some problems with mobility. To reduce your chances of getting an ankle sprain, you should wear supportive shoes when walking around, jump on two feet, and stretch before playing contact sports.
The quickest way to recover from an ankle sprain is the RICE method. This method includes protecting your ankle, resting the joint; applying ice; using compression, and elevating the joint — an idea borrowed from the Scottish surgeon, Robert Jones. The RICE method will not only help you come back strong but also lessen the risk of further injury and getting back in action sooner than expected!
According to the National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA), some rehab specialists suggest gentle exercise of the ankle to speed up recovery. Gentle exercise is good for general blood flow and better for your ankle. Plus, tone your muscles to prevent re-injury.
Exercises to strengthen your ankle should be gentle, but they can still help improve your activity. Start with a very low number of repetitions and slowly build up from there as long as the exercises don't hurt you.
Ice, rest and elevation are the first steps to recovery for most ankle injuries. To ice your ankle, apply an icepack wrapped in a towel to the injured area for 15 minutes every one to two hours for the first 48 hours. If you have diabetes, try icing your ankle for 10 minutes every hour for the first 24 hours with minimal compression.
Elevate your injured ankle by propping it on pillows or a footrest to reduce swelling and speed up recovery. If possible, take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen.
Preventing future injuries
It's easy to avoid future injuries that stem from a previous sprain. In the long term, here are some ways you can take care of your ankle:
• Avoid any activities that cause pain.
• Don't rush your recovery — you are better off taking it slow!
• Stretch and strengthen your ankle and lower leg muscles to prevent further injuries.
High ankle sprains are incredibly painful and can easily turn into a debilitating injury. Despite what you might think, this condition is not just an ankle issue. It is also a foot issue. To reduce recovery time, a podiatrist should be consulted in order to prevent the injury from worsening. Please schedule an appointment with one of our specialists today!