Musts following any ankle sprain.
Ankle sprains are very common among young and old alike. There are many different types and vary depending on the type and severity of the mechanism of injury. Most commonly ankle sprains occur when we roll our foot inwards, stressing the ligaments that attach from the bone in our leg to the bone in our foot. They are usually characterised by immediate swelling, pain and reduced range of movement.
After an ankle sprain, it is important to begin on the road to recovery as soon as possible and you can get started by using these simple tips.
Rest – give the structures in your ankle time to heal and minimise the amount that you aggravate the injury.
Ice – place ice, a cold pack or frozen peas over the injured area for 20minutes every 2 hours for the first 72 hours to minimise swelling and reduce pain.
Compression – make use of an elastic bandage or compression sock to apply light compression to the area to reduce swelling.
Elevation – try to keep your ankle elevated with a foot stool when sitting and propping on pillows when lying down or sleeping.
Range of Motion – move your foot and ankle through light and pain-free movements to keep the blood flowing and prevent stiffening of the joint.
Support – if a crutch or stick is required because you cannot weight bear, use it correctly as shown in the video clip below and try to continue your walking pattern as similar to pre-injury as possible.
Always hold the support on the opposite side to the injury, put injured leg forward first accompanied by the support – this will provide you with a wider and more stable base of support.
Referral – book in to see your physiotherapist ASAP for treatment, further advice and redirection of care as an X-ray, MRI or specialist appointment may be necessary.
These tips are just some of the steps required immediately after a sprain to allow a return to full functional capacity. Physiotherapists have a much broader range of tools and strategies at their disposal and their consultation could prevent long-term issues and promote faster recovery.
Post by Mitchell Sandvoss (Physiotherapy)