Problems with ankle are very often and every single person faced these problems at least once. People who prefer active life style and practice jogging or playing different sport come across with ankle ricks more often.
However if you suddenly feel pain in your ankle you should know what to do. In many cases simple massage will help to reduce the pain and you don’t even need to go to a doctor or apply any special topical solutions.
Our ankle represents great number of small bones, muscles and conjunctions that work together as one mechanism. If one link breaks the whole mechanism stops. That is why even minor physical trauma can cause serious pain.
This pain is especially strong in case of sprained ankle. It can be also explained by complex structure of nerves in this part of the body.There are many reasons why people get their ankle sprained. It may happen if you start running or practicing other sports without good warming up.
During some team sports people may get ankle injury from other players. Sprained or injured ankle is always very painful and the first thing you should do is to relieve the pain. You can get sprained ankle while simply walking up and down the stairs.
That is why you should be careful and wear comfortable shoes while you walk a lot. Women may have ankle injuries because of the shoes with high heels. This type of shoes is very traumatic and it is not recommended to wear them too long during the day or when you need to walk a lot.
Depending on the reason for sprained ankle to you can choose different type of treatment. In any case you will need to make medical check even if the pain is gone. Sometimes the treatment depends on the individual features of the human body.
For some people particular treatment will have less effect than for others. Sometimes after slight massage you need to apply topical pain reliever or other solutions that keep your ankle warm and help muscles to get better in a short period of time.
However it is not recommended to take pain killers for a long time. If your pain is still there don’t try to get rid of it because it’s just a sign that something is seriously damaged in your ankle. If the next day after the injury you have acute pain – immediately go to a doctor.
If the injury is not critical and the pain is not so strong you can take home-based treatment. First of all try not to use injured foot for walking or standing. It is better to stay in bed for one day. Second step is to make a compress and to keep your ankle warm. It helps muscles to recover faster.
If you follow these simple rules you will feel much better the next day without going to a doctor. However if after all these procedures you still can’t walk and feel acute pain – go to a doctor and make an X-ray to make sure nothing is seriously damaged in the ankle.
In case you have a break in the ankle it will swell and get red colour. Acute pain is also a sign of a break. Sprained ankle can be treated easily at home but any other ankle injury should be treated by doctor, even the surgery might be required.
Here are some tips what to do if you have sprained ankle:
First of all you should change your shoes. Don’t wear uncomfortable new shoes or high heels (refers to women) if you have ankle pain. Try to wear comfortable shoes where your foot is fixed and at the same time it doesn’t have any pressure.
Comfortable shoes will let you walk but avoid running and jumping as your ankle needs some rest. If you still have pain in the ankle, try not to walk too much. One or two days in bed would be great support and will stimulate ankle improvement.
How to diagnose sprained ankle
When the ankle is sprained there is tissue injury and inflammation. Blood vessels allow fluid to get into the soft tissue around the joint. Blood flow increases and cells that provoke inflammation gather around the joint. If your ankle is sprained you will see the following symptoms:
- Severe swelling that occurs because of increased fluid in the tissue
- Acute pain: nerves in the tissues become more sensitive. The joint will hurt and may even throb. The pain gets even worse if there is any pressure on the injured area.
- Redness and high temperature: these are caused by increased blood flow to the injured tissue
First medical care at home
First medical measures taken at home will reduce pain. As pain is caused generally by inflammation, the main goal of first medical care is to reduce inflammation.
Remember the golden rule RICE: rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
Rest prevents stress of already injured tissue. Try to reduce the pressure and not to walk on the injured foot. Use brace or splint to protect the ankle form excessive movement. If the sprain is serious you may even need crutches.
Ice is the best way to cool down swollen area. Apply the ice on the sprained ankle and it will reduce pain. Cold ice will reduce the blood flow to the injured area and will prevent further swelling. The redness will be also gone. Remember that it is not recommended to apply ice directly on the skin. Use the towel or the ice bag as it will create the protection between the skin and cold ice. Make pauses between the ice sessions at least 30 minutes to avoid too much cold.
Compression helps to prevent further inflammation and is great support for the injured ankle. You can use elastic wraps but be careful and don’t apply them too tight as it may affect blood circulation..
As one more step in treating sprained ankle you can take anti-inflammatory pills. This helps to get some rest during the night and forget about pain.
However if after all these steps you still feel strong pain and the ankle gets swollen more than in the beginning it makes sense to go to a doctor and ask for the professional medical help.