A sprained ankle occurs when one or more ligaments of your ankle gets stretched or torn due an awkward twist or turn. This condition is so common that it may occur anytime during sports, recreational activities, or even while performing day-to-day activities. To relieve an ankle sprain, you need expert care.
First of all, it is important to determine the extent of your sprain. Based on the number of ligaments injured, sprains are generally classified as Grade I, Grade II and Grade III. Often, injury due to sprain is difficult to differentiate from a bone fracture. For this, you may require diagnosis through X-ray or MRI, and a comprehensive physical exam.
If you find swelling or any deformity on your ankles, and have difficulty in mobility, make sure to obtain immediate medical support. If yours is just a minor sprain and not a broken bone, it may be treated without any medication or surgery. Whatever the severity of your condition, first of all, you should give rest to your ankle. Try not to walk and keep yourself from anything that puts pressure on the ankle. Use crutches if required. Also, elevate your ankle above the level of your heart so as to prevent swelling.
Here are a few treatment methods generally applied for ankle sprains, which may give much relief:
- Ice application – This is mainly provided to keep your swelling down.
- Splinting/casting – Usually provided for Grade II injuries, so as to support and immobilize your sprained ankle.
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) – This is generally used as an alternative for pain medication to provide pain relief.
- Physical therapy – This may help you improve mobility or range-of-motion through stretching / strengthening physical therapy exercises.
- Cold compression therapy – This is usually effective for pain relief, reduces swelling and enhances the natural healing abilities of your body.
- Rehabilitation program – Rehabilitation is of great importance for the complete healing of the sprained ankle, and keeping yourself from re-injuring the same.
The above mentioned treatment plans are effective to reduce swelling of the injured ankle, restore its flexibility, mobility and strength, and thereby help you get back to your routine activities. Therefore, always remember to pay attention to your body’s warning signs. The right treatment at the right time helps you prevent the injury from leading to issues that may affect your daily activities.