You’re out for a jog and your foot catches in a crack in the sidewalk. You stumble and pain shoots up your leg as your ankle begins to throb and ache. Or maybe your child was running about on the playground having fun, but then falls because their foot got caught in a hole and they twisted their ankle. Sounds like you may both have a sprain. Sprains occur when the ligaments in your ankle tear or stretch too much.
But what do you do to treat a sprain? The best thing to do is remember R.I.C.E. Rest. Ice. Compression. Elevation.
Rest: Don’t keep walking on your injured ankle. This just puts more stress on the torn or strained ligaments which will keep them from healing properly.
Ice: A common misconception about treating sprains is that you should put heat on it. People sit down and put a heating pad or a warm wet towel on their injury, but that is definitely a no-go. Swelling is caused by bleeding in the tissue under the skin, and heat will only draw more blood to the area and cause more swelling. For injuries such as strains and sprains, you should apply ice to help ease the swelling and pain.
Compression: Compression can help reduce swelling. A proper compression can keep the ligaments in the correct place so they heal correctly. Don’t wrap your injury up too tightly, though, as that can also cause injury.
Elevation: Try to keep your injury elevated above the level of your heart when lying down. Gravity help to keep too much blood from going to your injury and causing more swelling.
Combine all four of these components for your sprain to recover faster.
Not sure if it’s just a sprain or something worse? Visit HealthCARE Express and we can help you figure out!