How To Treat A Rolled Ankle (Sprained Ankle)
How to Treat a “Basic” Sprained Ankle
While all ankle injuries hurt, if you attempt to stand and have extremely sharp pain, stop! Sit or lie back down. If you have an ankle fracture, you won’t be able to put any weight on that leg.
Don’t try to ‘walk it off’–that may lead to additional injury.
While all are painful, the inversion and eversion sprains usually require less RICE – an acronym clinicians apply to the basic treatment protocol:
- Rest: Spend as little time on your feet as possible
- Ice: Treat the injury with cold packs on a regular basis
- Compression: Wrap the injured ankle with an elastic bandage, wound tightly
- Elevation: Keep the injury “up” as best you can
Medial and lateral sprains usually lead to two to three weeks of RICE applications to get you healed.
The high ankle sprain, a rotational injury where all of the ankle ligaments are injured, is among the worst.
A high-ankle sprain usually occurs in higher impact situations, such as an accident or during a football game.
How Ankle Injuries are Treated
In all cases, seek medical attention for an ankle injury. An orthopedic specialist can make the evaluation and get you on the proper path toward feeling better.
Physical therapy can help you get back to normal. If healing is taking a long time, it might require an MRI to diagnose exactly what the damage is.
A high-ankle injury can require more immobilization and, in some cases, a walking boot or brace.
Surgery might be needed if there’s a fracture or ligament damage.
Tips to Avoid Ankle Injuries
- Work on balance training: Easy exercises, such as balancing on one foot, can help you improve your equilibrium. Try brushing your teeth on one foot; it’s an easy way to make your ankles stronger.
- Reinforce your muscles: Take plenty of walks, or try a simple exercise, such as using a towel as resistance. Just work on it regularly and move your foot against the towel, up, down, in and out.
- Stretch more: Develop a stretching and mobility routine. Being flexible with in-shape lower extremity muscles is good for overall health.
- Protect yourself: Use tape or a brace if you’re planning more aggressive activity.
- You can’t over-prepare: If you’re a “weekend warrior” and haven’t done much running or jumping in a while, give yourself time to get up to “near-game” or “real-game” speed before you go all out. A gradual build-up to the level of activity you wish to attain is smart.