Almost every athlete has experienced the sharp, searing pain that accompanies a sprained ankle. If you haven’t, consider yourself extremely lucky. Here are a few tips to help you out when you do get a sprained ankle.
You should always begin treating a sprained ankle as quickly as possible. This will greatly reduce the amount of time for recovery. For those of us in the middle of our seasons, time is of utmost importance. If you treat the ankle right away, you’ll be back on your feet in no time…literally.
The first thing you need to do is assess how much damage has been done. If your ankle is beginning to immediately swell up like a balloon, you’ve probably done a good amount of damage. Have a couple of friends hold you up while you try to put weight on your injured foot. If you can hold yourself up, try to walk around a bit. I’ve had ankle sprains that felt awful at first, but I was actually able to walk it off after about 20 minutes. If you’re not this lucky, keep reading.
At this point you’ve assessed that you can’t walk. Congratulations! What you need now is some ice. The ice will ease the pain and reduce the swelling. You should keep ice on your ankle several times a day for 20 minutes at a time. More than this can actually cause tissue damage due to the cold. It’s rare, but you can never be too careful.
When you’re icing your foot, be sure to keep your foot elevated. Rest your foot on something soft and keep it up in the air. Not straight up of course, but just at an angle. This will help minimize swelling and reduce the pain of having blood rushing down to your ankle.
This is a pretty obvious one, but you should remain off your feet as much as possible. Also, always keep your foot wrapped so you don’t accidently whack it on something and twist it again. I would recommend using some of that tan medical wrap. It seems to work pretty well for holding your ankle in place.Every once in a while you can try to put a little weight on it to see how it’s coming along.
Once you’re finally healed (which could take a couple weeks) you should look into getting an ankle brace. These things really help prevent further sprains. Just make sure you buy one that isn’t too stiff. If it is, you won’t be able to run well.
That’s about it. Treating a sprained ankle isn’t really that hard, it just takes time. Rest is the most important thing to have. Your foot should remain stationary at all times for at least a few days. You’ll definitely know if it isn’t staying put when you get a shooting pain in your ankle! Good luck, and hope this helps a bit.