As one of the most common injuries in any sport or activity, nearly everybody has experienced an ankle injury. Regardless of if you suffered a minor sprain or major ligament damage, it is understandable to want to recover as quickly as possible. Treating a sprained or injured ankle correctly the first time can also prevent recurring problems down the road. Here are four ways to help to speed the recovery process after experiencing an ankle injury:
Ice Your Ankle
Icing your ankle should be one of the very first steps you take after you sustain an injury. According to Authority Adviser, “proper icing will work to reduce swelling and promote healing.” Although you can simply use an ice pack, there are also specially designed ice wraps that will mold to the ankle and provide more effective relief. You do not want to ice for more than 20 minutes at a time. When it comes to icing injuries, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.
Although it may seem counter-intuitive, mild exercise with the ankle can actually help to accelerate the recovery process. According to Suburban Foot & Ankle Associates, “utilize gentle exercises that help increase the blood flow in your ankle. You can also help strengthen muscles in the calf and the ankle to help avoid ankle sprains in the future.” The first step to full recovery is to be able to gain range of motion through the right exercise protocol. One recommended exercise is to perform figure eights or write the ABCs with your foot. As always, be sure to check with your doctor before performing any sort of intentional movement with your injured ankle.
During the early stages of an ankle injury, it is helpful to use an Ace bandage or another wrap to compress the ankle. The ankle should be wrapped starting at the toes and continuing all the way up to the calf muscle. The wrap should be tight enough to compress the muscles without cutting off the circulation to the foot. If your toes feel tingly, then you know that the wrap is too tight and needs to be loosened.
Take Anti-Inflammatory Medication
Anti-Inflammatory medicine is most effective when used within the first 48 hours of the onset of the injury. Anti-inflammatories include medicines such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB) or naproxen (Aleve). In addition to these pills, you can also get your anti-inflammatory medicine delivered through a topical agent that you rub onto the injury. According to Game Ready, “these types of treatments are useful when looking to reduce the swelling and encourage healing of the injury.” The medicine will also alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with ankle injuries. By helping to reduce your pain, you will also be able to perform the rehabilitation exercises more easily.
Nobody wants to experience an ankle injury. However, with the proper treatment and care, you can get back on your feet as quickly as possible. The important thing to remember is to not rush the healing process.