Find out the best ways to treat ankle sprains to get you back on your feet quickly.
We may never really notice how important our feet and ankles are to us until we have an issue. Whether you enjoy a rousing game on the court or you prefer the solitude of a daily walk, it’s hard to do either of these enjoyable activities when you are dealing with an ankle sprain. If you have been diagnosed with an ankle sprain here are the best ways to care for your condition so you can get back to your physical activities as soon as possible.
Our first line of defense against most foot and ankle problems is to see how your body responds to more conservative and non-invasive treatments before we opt for more invasive and aggressive options. The RICE method is usually all that is needed to reduce symptoms and promote faster healing.
Rest: When you experience an ankle sprain the best thing you can do is stay off your foot and rest. If the sprain is bad enough your Olney podiatrist may recommend using crutches or an orthotic boot to not only stabilize the foot and ankle but also take unnecessary pressure off the foot when you walk.
Ice: For the first three days after your sprain, you can opt for cold compresses to help with any swelling you may be experiencing. You can use an ice pack for up to 20 minutes at a time, doing this every couple of hours throughout the day.
Compression: Certain bandages and wraps can also be used for the first few days after injury to reduce the amount of weight that is being placed on the injured ankle. Talk to your Olney podiatrist about the best wraps to use for your injury.
Elevation: When you are resting your foot be sure to have your foot propped up above your heart. You should be doing this for at least a couple hours each day. This will help reduce inflammation and bruising.
For pain management we recommend using over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatories; however, if the sprain is severe, we may need to prescribe a stronger pain medication to alleviate your symptoms.
Most sprains heal on its own with time. In the mean time, we may show you some strengthening and stretching exercises that can also help improve mobility and prevent future injures. It’s very rare that surgery will be necessary for an ankle sprain, however, if a ligament is torn your Olney podiatrist will talk to you about more aggressive treatment options that might be necessary.
If your symptoms don’t improve within a few days, or they get worse, then it’s time to take a trip to see your Olney podiatrist, Dr. Marc Goldberg, DPM at Family Foot and Ankle Associates of Maryland.