A sprained ankle is one of the common forms of injury. It usually happens when the ankle rolls inward or outward abruptly. Due to this quick movement, the ankle joint displaces from its location. When the ankle rolls in inward direction it leads to an eversion sprain. It affects the inner tendons, and ligaments of the ankle.
On the other hand, an outward rolling of the ankle is called an “inversion sprain” that impacts the outside the ankle ligaments. In both these cases, the ligaments get stretched or damaged. Due to this a person experiences swelling, and pain in the area surrounding the ankle. In this article, we will tell you simple and safe methods to treat and get relief from a sprained ankle quickly.
An understanding about Ankle
The primary job of the ankle is to support the entire weight of your body at the time of walking, running, and engaging in daily activities.
Your ankle comprises of:
- bones, that covers the cartilage
- blood vessels
Your ankle joint is made up of three bones, as talus, tibia and fibula. This joint acts as an axis to enable the movement of foot in all directions.
Ligaments helps these three bones to connect to each other, and hold them together. They also provide support to the part of lower leg where it joins the ankle.
Tendons provide the strength, and stability to the ankle and establishes connection between the ankle bones and muscles.
Strengthening, and stretching of the ligaments and muscles helps a lot in keeping your ankles stable and in best state.
What are the primary reasons behind a Sprained Ankle?
Generally, a sprained ankle is caused due to below reasons:
- excruciating pain
- intense swelling
- odd shape
- incapability to walk a distance
- limited mobility
Effective Ways to Get Relief From A Sprained Ankle
A pulled, injured or twisted ankle can be very painful. The region can become swollen and immobile. Under such scenario, you need to follow a series of steps to reduce the intensity of these symptoms and treat the condition.
1. Mild movement
Immobilizing your injured ankle for a few days may reduce pain and swelling, but completely immobilizing it for over a month can aggravate signs and adversely impact recovery. Begin with slow strengthening exercises.
Mild exercise can help in a speedy recovery after one or two days. It is beneficial for promoting blood circulation and achieve rapid healing. These exercises improve range of motion, provides balance, stretches and strengthens your ankle muscles to treat a sprained ankle.
2. Apply Ice
Ice is found to be effective in reducing swelling, and improving blood flow in the impacted area. Regular application of an ice pack for fifteen to twenty minutes daily in intervals of every two to three hours will give you good relief. Do not over do as it can worsen the situation.
Ice compression can reduce swelling and offer stability to the ankle. After experiencing a sprain, gently wrap your ankle with a compression bandage and leave it in this state for about 48 to 72 hours.
3. Keep your ankle in raised position
Another technique that would help in reducing pain in the ankle is by keeping your foot in an elevated position. This implies that your ankle should be placed above your waist. It is seen that by keeping your foot in raised position for a few days reduces swelling and eliminates excess fluid from the body.
4. Take some anti-inflammatory medication
It is very obvious to feel intense pain due to injured ankle. Taking anti-inflammatory, and pain-relieving medicines are found to be impactful in reducing the discomfort. These medicines are best to be consumed within the 48-hour of getting the injury.
Pills like ibuprofen, and naproxen are commonly consumed and safe anti-inflammatory medications that can treat this condition. In addition to oral medication, there are some topical sprays and balms that can be applied to the area of swelling, and pain for effective relief.
5. What type of mild exercises are advised in a Sprained Ankle condition?
As complete immobilization of the Sprained Ankle can aggravate the symptoms, doctors generally recommend performing ankle stretches, and exercises after a sprain. Stability, and balance training exercises, and stretches improves mobility, and flexibility of the ankle. This, in turn, helps in quick recovery from the injury. The sooner you begin exercising the ankle, the quicker you will heal.
Ankle Range of Motion Exercises
Here are a few important moves that will help in increasing balance and mobility of your ankles and improve the co-ordination between the brain, and ankle.
1. Ankle Alphabet
You need to sit on a comfortable chair. Stretch your legs and use your big toe to trace the alphabet letters. If you feel comfortable doing this move, then repeat it for three more times. This gentle move helps to conveniently move the ankle in all directions.
2. Knee motion
Sit comfortably in a chair and stretch your foot on the floor. Slowly move the knees from left side to right side, and vice versa for two to three minutes. This move stretches as well as relaxes the tendons around the ankle.
3. Towel stretch
Sit comfortably on the floor. Stretch your legs in front of you. Now, wrap a towel around the heel of the foot. Try pulling back on the towel and moving your toes toward your body. Hold the stretch for about fifteen seconds. With this move, you will feel a gentle stretch on the calf muscle.
4. Standing calf stretch
Another important move that will stretch and increase strength of your calf muscles is a standing calf stretch. To perform it, you will need to stand with your face facing a wall. For support, you can place your hands on the wall.
Your feet should lie firmly on the floor. Place the sprained ankle a step behind. Your good foot should be forward. Bend the knee of your good leg when you feel a stretch in the calf muscles on your injured leg. Maintain this state for thirty seconds. Relax and repeat this move for three times.
5. Heel raise
It is required that you stand resting your hands on the wall in front of you. Your feet should be shoulder width distance apart. Gently rise up on your toes and bring your body down. Perform this move for about ten times at first.
If you feel comfortable doing the move, increase the repetitions. Do it for the time you feel a moderate level stretch. When you start experiencing pain, that is the time when you are overexerting your ankles. You need to stop the move immediately.
6. One-leg balance
Stand erect with your hands resting against the wall. Now raise your good leg so that the entire weight of the body rests on the injured leg. Hold this position for around twenty seconds. With practice, you can even take increase the duration.
To make the move a little more challenging, try performing it by placing only one or two fingers on the wall. The lesser the support, the more intense your move will become. Keep practicing till the time you do not require any support.
7. Basic balance
Stand on the sprained foot, and slowly raise the healthy foot off the ground. Maintain your body balance throughout the move. Try to be in this position for a few seconds. You can a keep chair behind you and hold it for support. To make this exercise, a little more challenging, perform it with your eyes closed. Try to stay in this position for about thirty seconds to a minute.
You can even discuss with your doctor about the use of resistance bands in the exercise to make the move a little tougher. Resistance bands will help in making your muscles stronger.
8. Pillow balance
This is another body balancing exercise that is performed in a little different technique. Stand erect with placing a pillow below your feet. Slowly raise your toes while standing on a pillow. Many of you will find this balancing act to be a little tougher than the rest other moves. Begin with five seconds and try to take it to thirty seconds. Stop when you start to experience pain in the ankle.
Similar, to the above exercise, do this move with your eyes closed. This will make the move more challenging. Maintain this state for thirty seconds.
9. Walk without crutches
In severe conditions of sprained ankle, you may be using crutches to walk from one place to another. The simplest move would be to take steps without using crutches. Start off by taking one step and later increase the steps. You will feel that with practice, you will be able to cover a large area without the support of crutches.
Important Questions About Getting Relief From A Sprained Ankle
We have compiled a few questions and answers that would help in solving your queries about sprained ankle.
1. What types of exercise should I perform to get relief from sprained ankle?
Exercises that increases the strength of your ankle, and calf muscles are beneficial. These exercises enhance your stability and balance and help you recover faster. With better muscle and joint strength, your chances of further injury will reduce considerably.
2. How to keep your ankle healthy for long-term?
Taking best care of your sprained ankle is necessary to keep it protected and healthy for several years. Here are a few tips that you should follow throughout your life.
- Avoid footwear like high heels that causes instability in your ankles.
- Always stretch before and after you exercise your ankles.
- Stretch your complete leg region for at least five minutes daily.
- Perform strength building ankle exercises that makes the muscles, and bones strong.
3. When should I perform ankle exercises to cure my sprained ankle?
If the injury is not very severe, you can start performing ankle rehabilitation exercises within three days after getting your ankle injured. Three days of time is an ideal time to get rest. In this period, take rest and apply ice pack to the impacted area for a maximum fifteen minutes. Do not apply the ice directly to the ankle and do not leave it for a longer time.
After that period, you can slowly begin moving your ankle and perform home exercises and physical therapy. Consider performing rehabilitation exercises under the supervision of your doctor and carry out your own research to decide which treatment is appropriate for you.
4. What precautions should I keep in mind when doing the exercises?
The above movements help in the restoration of strength to your ankle, maintain flexibility, and range of motion, and avoid any future muscle sprain. However, to get the best benefit from these exercises, you need to perform them in a disciplined way.
- Always perform stretching before performing any ankle exercise. It promotes blood circulation in your ankles and prepares it for the exercise. Also, it reduces any possibilities of injury.
- Do it slow.
- Maintain the right posture, and technique throughout the move.
- Do not overexert yourself. Perform these moves no more than three times a day.
- Ensure you perform all these moves under the supervision of a skilled professional.
- Pay attention to your body while performing the move. Do not continue with any movement if it seems to worsen your symptoms. Obey the instructions provided by your doctor.
- Seek immediate assistance of doctor to deal with any complications.
It is very common to get twist in your ankle. However, the severity of the condition can differ from one person to another. The above methods are quite helpful in giving you relief from swelling, pain and/or bruising and other symptoms associated with the condition. However, if these conditions persist, then you should take assistance from the doctor at the earliest.
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