Health

5 ways to deal with a sprained ankle

One of the commonest foot injuries in the office of Best Orthopedic Surgeon in Karachi is ankle injury. An ankle injury is said to be a sprain when the supporting ligaments are torn or stretched following a twist. If rolled inward, the impacted ligaments lie on the inner side and the sprain is called an eversion sprain. On the other hand, an outward roll injuring the outer ligaments causes an inversion sprain. Following a sprain, there is extreme pain in the ankle, followed by swelling, inability to walk, odd bend to the foot and limited range of motion. If not treated right, a simple sprain can become a lasting injury. 

Read on to know more about dealing with a sprained ankle:

  1. RICE Method

RICE method is an acronym for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation and it is the first aid of orthopedic injuries. RICE method is extremely useful at-home method to minimize further damage and pain. 

Rest: Following a sprain, the ankle should not be used and the patient should not engage in activities that put strain and pressure on it. 

Ice: cold compressions decrease the blood supply to the injured region, thereby decreasing swelling and the movement of pain mediators. The ideal method is to ice for 15 to 20 minutes at a time, and repeating every two hours, particularly first two days after injury. However, be sure to not leave the ice pack on the injured ankle for more than 20 minutes. Icing is not recommended for those with peripheral artery disease and diabetes.

Compression: over-the-counter bandages that offer compression should be applied soon thereafter. The idea behind the compression bandages is to contain the swelling. Compression bandages combined with icing of the joint are helpful in combating inflammatory changes. Be sure to wrap the bandage in a way that the blood supply is not interrupted.

Elevation: keeping the injured region above the heart level is another way to modulate swelling and pain. 

2. Wear a brace

Braces support the injured joint and keep it immobile, promoting healing and preventing pain. Braces also stabilize the joint and ease discomfort. You can use sports tape or wear a support brace following ankle injury. If your healthcare provider feels you need more stability, they may recommend using crutches for a few days until you are comfortable walking on your own. 

3. Get x-rayed 

Your doctor may recommend getting x-rays of the injured foot to find the extent of injury. X-rays will also rule out a fracture and determine the severity of the sprain. If the sprain is not cared for properly, it may take longer to heal and cause more discomfort. 

4. Take NSAIDs

While pain is managed by a variety of over-the-counter drugs, the best drugs are the ones that also deal with inflammation during an ankle sprain, and these are the NSAIDs. Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs ease inflammation, swelling and pain at the injury site. NSAIDs when combined with RICE method are sure to decrease the swelling in a few days. However, before taking NSAIDs, seek your healthcare provides approval. 

5. Go for physical therapy 

Physical therapy helps the patient gain back the strength and flexibility of the joint back; however, they should be started only after our doctor gives you the go-ahead. Exercises directed for sprained ankles speed up recovery and the range of motion and prevent stiffness of the joint. Patients must be compliant with the instructions of their therapist if they want to heal faster and prevent any lasting damage to their foot. You can find the best physical therapists and orthopedic experts online through oladoc.com.

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