A sprained ankle is an ankle injury that is quite common and it can cause a lot of discomfort. It is very important that this injury is treated early and properly. This article about treating a sprained ankle will show you how to quickly recover from the injury.
A sprain occurs when a ligament is injured because of a sudden twist of the foot. An ankle sprain commonly occurs in runners or athletes and it is actually a soft tissue wound. It occurs when an individual’s ankle is turned over because of an uneven surface or an awkward step which makes the sole to face inwards, resulting to tearing and stretching of ligaments around the ankle.
The indications of an ankle sprain depend basically on how severe the condition is. You may observe bruising and swelling around the part a day after the injury is sustained. You may not be able to walk with the affected leg because of the swelling within the ankle. Because the ligaments have been torn, there may be a slight ankle pain which may get worse any time you attempt to move affected ankle. However, if the sprained ankle is treated early, the discomfort and inflammation will reduce and that will help you to recover quickly.
Treating a Sprained Ankle
To lessen the swelling and ankle pain, you can take painkillers which can easily be purchased over-the-counter. Anti-inflammatory pain drugs such as Motrin, Advil, Ibuprofen, Tylenol, Acetaminophen etc. are highly effective in lessening inflammation and pain. Your healthcare professional may apply a cast on the injured foot to prevent movement of the ankle.
Therapy That Can Be Done At Home
One very common method used for treating a sprained ankle at home is RICE which stands for rest, ice, compression plus elevation. You should get full rest and do not sprain the ankle. You can reduce the swelling by applying ice pack for fifteen to twenty minutes many times during the day. Get an ice bandage and wrap it around the injured ankle and let it get to the region of the calf muscles. This will help to decrease the swelling and pain you feel at the ankle. If possible the affected foot should be placed at a raised level. You can achieve this by placing your foot at a platform that has been elevated or placing a few pillows beneath the injured ankle while you lie down. This will also help to decrease the inflammation.
Massaging the sprained ankle has the effect of stopping scar tissues from forming and it also breaks down any scar tissues that have developed. Rubbing tenderly over the affected ankle towards the edge of your foot and making circular motions with your thumb over the affected part, enhances flow of blood and this can make you get better quickly.
The recovery time for a sprained ankle that is receiving treatment depends primarily on the therapy provided as well as the way the patient responds to the therapy. However, it usually takes about two to three weeks before a patient can overcome the swelling and pain caused by the sprained ankle. However, if you notice no relief while treating a sprained ankle, it is best that you consult an orthopedist who will give you more details regarding your condition.
Sprained Ankle Symptoms – Is It Broken Or Sprained?
Though breaking your ankle and spraining you ankle is a completely different type of injury, it can be difficult to understand sprained ankle symptoms just by “feel”. A bad sprain can be much more painful than a light break and vice versa. Unfortunately, for those of us who like to admit defeat and consult a professional, the best way to tell is to go to the doctor and get an x-ray. Guessing (even educated guesses) can result in larger problems down the road if your guess-work results in an incorrect diagnosis. However, there are a few telltale signs that can help you figure out if your ankle is broken or twisted – unfortunately none of these sprained ankle symptoms are one hundred percent reliable.
When you injured the ankle, what kind of noise did you hear? A popping or ripping sound is indicative of a sprain. A sprain is the stretching or tearing of ligaments in your ankle. That sound you heard is the sound of your ligaments doing things they shouldn’t. One of my worse injuries sounded like Christopher Walken doing a Spanish accent. It turned out to be a sprain. A cracking noise indicates a break. Even small fractures can be difficult to heal. However, depending on the degree of the fracture and the environment in which you were injured, you may or may not hear a noise.
Next on your list of sprained ankle symptoms is a test of ‘reactionary’ vs. ‘constant’ pain. At the moment of injury immediately get off your feet. Any place will do; a bench, a curb, the ground. Taking pressure off the injury will help you determine the type of pain you are experiencing. Reactionary pain is experienced when you move the injured area. For example, placing your foot on the ground, moving your ankle in different directions, or touching the area are all simple tests. If you are only experiencing discomfort from the initial injury, and pain comes only when moving or touching the injured site, this is probably indicative of a sprain. However, complete tearing of a ligament could result in NO PAIN or EXTREME PAIN, making these sprained ankle symptoms all so confusing. If you are experiencing constant pain, regardless of how much you move or don’t move the area, this is probably a break.
Here is another test of ‘reactionary’ vs. ‘constant’ pain. Sit on the floor facing a firm wall with both feet in front of you and put you injured foot flat against the wall. Push softly against the wall with your injured foot. If you are able to do this, no large bones are fractured or broken. If when you do this you experience a good amount of pain in places other than your ankle, you probably have broken something.
Sprained ankle symptoms my also include a feeling of ankle instability. I know, at this time who wants to put pressure on the injury right? However, a serious ankle sprain resulting from completely tearing a ligament will give you an ‘unstable’ feeling when walking on your ankle. A break will probably make it impossible to walk or you will experience pain in other parts of your body in addition to your ankle.
Another test of sprained ankle symptoms is the “wait and see” test. Initial injury is a very difficult time to diagnose yourself because really, a little pain and a lot of pain is difficult to differentiate, and who really knows what Christopher Walken doing a Spanish accent sounds like. So get home quickly (if you’re able to walk yourself home it’s probably a sprain) and begin the RICE system. If the pain keeps you up at night – it’s probably a break. If after 24 to 48 hours you’re feeling better, it’s probably a sprain. If after 48 hour of RICE you are feeling better, you should start rehabilitation exercises for your ankle to speed up recovery time.