An ankle injury can be painful and can highly disrupt our day-to-day activities. Depending upon the severity of the injury, from a minor sprain to major ligament damage, the intensity of the treatment also varies.
An ankle sprain is problematic, as it is not as lethal as a fracture, but yet it requires complete rest and care for proper recovery. There is a Foot and Ankle Sprain Specialist in Houston TX at DeNiel Foot and Ankle Center who provides treatment for sprains, hammertoes, heel spurs, nail fungus Achilles tendon pains, etc. This specialist is known to offer quality ankle and heel pain treatments, and is one of the leading foot doctor in Houston, Texas, Dr. Shobowale also performs procedures and minor surgeries as per the requirement.
There is no specific time period of sprained ankle recovery, as it varies from one person to another, the extremity of the injury and other personal factors like the meticulous care, provisions for recovery assistance and most importantly, the knowledge of the primary treatment.
Steps to a faster ankle sprain recovery
- STEP 1- ‘R.I.C.E.' Treatment
When you encounter an ankle injury, the R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) treatment should be implemented. This treatment is done to reduce the pain and swelling. Moreover, these steps should be implemented within few hours of the injury.
Once you get an ankle injury, the first few hours are crucial. If you do not give rest, then the injury might aggravate. Avoid putting any pressure on injured ankle, and use a crutch for support if is necessary to walk. Once you feel that you can walk without limping, then, gradually discontinue the use of crutch. Only put as much weight on the injured ankle that is tolerable. Understand that ignoring the pain and swelling can delay the time of recovery, and in worse cases, lead to extremely acute issues.
Applying ice on the sprained ankle can effectively ease the pain and reduce the swelling. You can use ice packs or better if you can get hold of the ice wraps which are specially designed to mold the joint. This way the ice wrap will be fixed to our joint, and hence, will result to a faster recovery.
Compression should be given as soon as you receive the injury. You can use a crepe bandage to to wrap the injured portion of your foot. Tightly wrap the bandage to avoid any movement of your ankle. If your ankle is not allowed to move, then the recovery will be faster. Also, make sure that the bandage is not wrapped very tightly as it might disrupt the blood circulation.
Keep your sprained ankle higher than your chest as often as possible. This also helps to significantly reduce the swelling. It is advisable to lie down and prop your legs on a stool, rather than sitting and putting up your leg on an adjacent chair.
The next step post the primary treatment is to remove the rigidity of the ankle. Since the mobility is restricted due to swelling and pain, it is advised to address these in the initial exercises. Ankle sprains rarely require immobilization like cast or boot, and in fact, demand complete rest for not more than 3 days.
The most basic exercise is to move and rotate your ankle little by little. Try to rotate the tip of your toes clockwise and then anti-clockwise.
- STEP 3- Get the strength back by exercises
Once the rigidity of the ankle is removed and the pain and swelling have significantly reduced, the next step is to strengthen the injured ankle. Once you injure yourself with an ankle sprain, the joints tend to become very fragile and they have a tendency of getting injured again due to prevailing weakness of the ankle portion. Hence, for complete recovery, strengthening exercises is a mandatory procedure. It is advised to train under a physicist, who can recommend specific exercises to target the injured ankle.
- STEP 4- Sport-Specific activities
If you are a sports person, then it recommended that post the strengthening exercising phase, do not start playing your sports immediately. First, try to complete the recovery sessions of your particular sports. For example, if you are footballer, after recovering from an ankle sprain, do not attempt to play a full 90 min game. Instead, try attend passing sessions and a bit of jogging.
- STEP 5- Return to full fitness
Once you feel that your injured portion has got the strength as it was before the injury, you can resume your daily activities. Few signs that your injury has completely healed are:
- No swelling
- No pain
- No visible discoloration or lesions
It is crucial to understand that a sprain cannot heal overnight and needs adequate care and attention over a period of minimum one week for complete recovery. It is a step-by-step process that needs to be followed thoroughly to guarantee full recuperation. Often, the most common mistake that people do is that they do not give sufficient time for their ankle to return to normal before resuming activities. This only adds additional strain on the injury, which can build-up into a major condition. Therefore, by following the process meticulously, a complete recovery from an ankle sprain is ensured!
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Houston, TX. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.
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