Quick Recovery From an Ankle Sprain
Caring for a sprained ankle immediately following the injury will ensure a quicker and better recovery compared to just waiting it out. After suffering a sprained ankle, people all too often attempt to “walk it off”.
When a sprain occurs, the heel and ankle bones become forcibly rotated into an abnormal position. These bones and joints lose their healthy alignment. This forceful movement causes abrupt stretching and micro-tearing of the ligaments in the ankle. As a result, the ankle will become swollen, painful and it may even bruise.
There are specific measures you should take immediately after injuring an ankle as the result of a sprain.
The first thing you should do is to apply ice over the painful, swollen areas. You can simply apply a bag of crushed ice over the ankle and use an elastic bandage to secure the ice in place.
For more severe sprains, one of the best icing methods is to submerge the foot and ankle into an ice bath. An ice bath can be made by filling a bucket with enough cold water to completely submerge the foot and ankle and then add several ice cubes.
In either case you should ice the affected ankle for 15-20 minutes, repeating every 60-90 minutes as needed.
Two other measures you should take after spraining an ankle is elevation and compression.
Keeping the foot elevated above the level of the heart will facilitate a quicker reduction in swelling. At nighttime you can use a pillow to prop the foot to maintain that elevation.
Between periods of icing, an elastic bandage can be wrapped around the ankle to reduce swelling and to provide support. Be certain to begin wrapping the elastic bandage around the foot and work upward toward the ankle. The compression should be snug, but not too tight where circulation to the foot becomes compromised.
As soon as possible after an ankle sprain, you should come in to our office for a chiropractic foot and ankle evaluation. A gentle chiropractic adjustment will reset the alignment of the heel and ankle. Restored ankle alignment will ease the tension and pressure from the injury, allowing the body to heal and regain its function much faster.