Do you have a sprained ankle? It is a common condition among people who do gym workouts or play sports. The human ankle has three bones. If you sprain your ankle, it is good to know how to treat a sprained ankle. The ankle is a small body part but is important for standing, walking, and jumping. If you’re an athlete, it’s especially important to keep your foot in tip-top shape. This can help you get the best results, whether you’re waiting in line, walking in the park, or taking a jump shot. If your ankle is 100% then you could have problems doing those actions.
The good news is you can take some basic steps to treat your condition. They include options ranging from cold compresses to RICE. There are many benefits to using home remedies. You can save time, effort, and money—which is always a good thing. The best part is the treatments can work and help deal with any issues you have dealing with the twisted ankle. On the other hand, prescription medicines have strong chemicals that can cause unwanted side-effects. While sprained ankles can be tough to deal with, you’ll likely want to avoid making the situation worse.
What Exactly Is a Sprained Ankle?
This is a type of injury that takes place when you twist, roll, or unnaturally turn the ankle. It can tear/stretch the ligaments that help to keep the ankle bones connected. These are strong bands. The ligaments are important for preventing too much movement and keeping the joints stable.
This condition happens when ligaments get forced past the regular range of motion. This usually involves ligament injuries on the ankle’s outside.
There are different treatments you can use for a sprained ankle. This is based on how serious the injury is. You can often use over-the-counter medicines and home treatments.
However, a doctor needs to evaluate your condition. This can figure out how serious the ankle sprain is. It can also help to learn the best treatment to use for the ankle injury.
It’s also critical to know the common symptoms of the condition, which can include:
- Tenderness when touching the ankle
- Unstable ankle
- Popping feeling/sound
- The lower range of motion
- Pain when putting weight on the foot
If you experience these symptoms make sure to contact your doctor if you experience swelling/pain in the ankle and you think there’s a sprain. In many cases, you can use home remedies. However, your doctor can help you determine if the ankle should be checked out.
If the ankle’s injury is serious then there might be serious damage to the ligament/bone of the ankle/leg. This is a situation that requires you to get the condition checked out as soon as possible. It might get worse if you don’t take immediate steps.
There are various causes of sprained ankles. This happens when it gets moved out of the regular position. It can cause a partial or complete tear. Some common causes include:
- Person steps/lands on foot during sports
- Walking/exercising on a rough surface
- Awkward landing on the foot
How to Treat a Sprained Ankle
You can add a compression bandage to the ankle. This helps to reduce swelling, which is a critical step to take when treating the ankle. Your doctor can help guide you about how long to keep the compression bandage on.
This method stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. This is a classic home remedy for ankle strains/sprains. Doctors even recommend this option because it’s effective. It’s important to use RICE as soon as possible after an injury.
This technique can provide several benefits. For example, RICE can reduce pain/swelling. It also helps to increase flexibility and speed up healing.
This helps to lower the blood flow to the ankle. Make sure to elevate your ankle so it’s higher than the heart. This will help to deal with swelling. It’s especially important right after the injury to help lower the injury’s swelling.
4. Epsom Salt
This might be a surprising one. Soak your ankle in a mixture of warm water and salt. You should use cold water a couple of days following the injury. That’s because the heat could boost inflammation during that time. However, afterward, you can start using warm water.
The Epsom salt can help to repair connective tissues and muscles. You can take this step 1-2 times per day so you can lower discomfort.
5. OTC painkiller
You can go with basic options like Aspirin and Advil. These products can be strong enough to help deal with any pain caused by the sprained ankle. It’s especially helpful when you’re dealing with too much pain. In that case, it’s especially important so you can deal with the situation better.
This is a classic method for treating the ankle. Make sure to apply ice many times per day. This can help to reduce swelling and pain. Another option is a cold compress, which provides a similar benefit.
Top Tips to Prevent Ankle Sprains
1. Increase muscle strength
This is a good method for preventing ankle injuries. You can do this by one-leg exercises like lunges, squats, dips, etc. When you increase your ankles, it will be much easier to remain on your feet and change body position.
2. Boost flexibility
It’s critical not only to boost your body’s strength but also flexibility. Simply add 1 minute of stretching to your pre-workout routine. This can help to boost the lower leg’s mobility. It will make your workouts more effective and safer.
3. Make your core stronger
This is one of the top ways you can help prevent ankle injuries. It’s important to make your hips/trunk stronger to make it easier to move. For example, it’s important to have a strong core for changing direction. This provides better hip control and makes the process easier.
You can do various exercises to strengthen your core. This includes ab workouts that strengthen your stomach muscles. While the ab muscles are small there are no “10-minute abs.” you’ll have to put in the work to get a 6-pack.
4. Wear a brace
Even if you don’t have an ankle injury this is an effective method for preventing one. It can help you (literally) brace for pressure on your ankle during workouts and sports. This also helps to provide feedback when doing workouts, which helps you know when something isn’t right.
5. Improve balance
If you want to prevent ankle sprains this is one of the best options. The human body has 45 MILES of nerve tissues in the human body. These nerves are important for maintaining balance. This system helps to tell you when you’re moving, falling, etc. It’s important to use your three balance systems to reduce your risk of needing to learn how to treat a sprained ankle.