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How To Recover From A Sprain Quickly
If you think youve sprained your ankle, remember the acronym POLICE to help guide your treatment immediately after the injury and maximize your recovery time. Many people can recover from an ankle sprain within a few weeks of injury by following these guidelines.
Protection — Minimizing and modifying activity shortly after injury can go a long way after spraining an ankle. Some people may need assistive devices such as crutches or the use of a walking boot to help protect the ankle as it begins to heal.
Optimal Loading — Progressive loading and activity after injury can help with gradually introducing motion to the foot and ankle. In general, let your symptoms be your guide to increasing activity after an ankle sprain. Recent research suggests that early, gentle range of motion exercises help with healing. Try to gently pump your ankle up and down, make circles with your feet, and wiggle your toes often.
Ice — Intermittent use of ice throughout the day may help with lessening pain in the early phase of healing. The usual recommendation is 15 to 20 minutes of ice to help with decreasing pain. Do not apply ice directly to the skin. Ice is best, especially for the first 48 hours after injury.
How Do You Sprain An Ankle
Sprains happen when a joint is taken beyond its limit, causing the tissue to become overstretched and torn, causing damage.
There are many ways in which this can happen such as:
- Trauma and impact
- Not being warmed up and sudden movement applied to a muscle or joint
- Twists, Slips, Trips.
- Overuse of a muscle or joint
Theres some of these things that we simply cant do anything about such as bad tackle or challenge in football, or impact in combat sports. A good warmup and physical preparation plan can limit your chances of suffering an injury.
In everyday life, common scenarios that typically result in ankle sprains are from footwear choice and uneven surfaces such as high heels. They arent the most practical of shoe and do not provide good stability at the best of times. Uneven floors or weather conditions can often cause slips, trips and falls, again which are all unavoidable.
A sprain is a ligament injury which involves trauma to the joint.
Ligaments are the tissues which hold bones to bones and typically occur with impact, twists and over extension injuries to body parts.
Here is the grading system for sprains.
Grade I structural damage only on microscopic level, with slight local tenderness and without joint instability.
Grade II partial tear of the ligament, visible swelling and noticeable tenderness, but without joint instability .
Grade III a severe sprain: complete rupture of the ligament with significant swelling and with instability of the joint.
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What Causes An Ankle Sprain
Ankle sprains often occur during physical activity. Sometimes they can happen when you walk or run on a rough surface. The unevenness can make you fall, land on your ankle wrong, and sprain it.
People who have high arches in their feet or weak muscles are more likely to sprain their ankles. If youve sprained your ankle before, youre more likely to sprain it again.
Symptoms Associated With Ankle Injuries
No matter what type of ankle injury you are experiencing, you’ll likely have the same symptoms. Severity and treatment vary from injury to injury, but the signs are usually consistent. If you have an ankle injury, you may experience some of the following symptoms:
Sudden onset of pain
Inability to put weight on the injury
If you are experiencing these symptoms, you likely have some type of ankle injury. While most ankle injuries can be treated at home, it’s important to treat the injury immediately and properly.
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How To Apply Kinesiology Tape
This technique can be as few as one to as many as four strips. Start with a small amount of stretch in the tape to assess the efficacy and skin tolerance. Then increase the stretch to what feels most comfortable.
Cut a piece of tape that will wrap around the ankle. Place the center of the tape under the heel with it facing forward at a diagonal. Then, with one loose end of the bandage at a time, pull it across the front of the ankle at an angle until it crosses to the opposite side of your foot. Repeat this with the second arm and create an X on the top of the foot and ankle .
Cut similar strips as above. Then, place the center of the tape under the heel, this time facing backward at a diagonal. The X will now be made at the back of the ankle.
How Long Should A Sprained Ankle Be Wrapped
Here is a general timeline for each option:
Athletic tape: 1-6 hours. Remove with tape scissors.
Kinesiology tape: 3-5 days. Remove slowly and carefully.
Compression wrap: Wear as needed.
Ankle brace: Wear as needed. Try to gradually decrease time-worn as possible to decrease dependence on it.
Replace compression wraps or ankle braces when they lose their stability and compression qualities.
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How To Heal A Sprained Ankle Fast: 8 Tips For Home Treatment
Before we get started with tips, its important to ensure youre in a good place to learn how to heal a sprained ankle fast from home. Because while mild to moderate sprains can be cared for at home, severe sprains may need medical intervention.
You may need to visit a doctor for assistance, proper diagnosis, or maybe even surgery. If you start to notice any of the following during home care, stop and reach out to your healthcare professionals immediately:
- A popping sound from your ankle during the injury or at any point in recovery
- Pain or tenderness when touching your ankle that persists beyond the first day or two
- Swelling that doesnt go down within the first few days or that increases suddenly
- Pale or blue discoloration of your foot
- Feeling pins and needles and/or losing feeling in your foot
These can all be signs of a more severe injury that should be treated right away. The good news is that the majority of sprained ankles dont develop into something serious, so you can follow these steps to care for your injury at home.
Start Gentle Exercise Asap
Getting gentle exercise can help your ankle heal itself to be even stronger than before. Within the first 1-3 days, youll want to start doing some gentle movement with your ankle.
Walking around the house as normal can be helpful, as long as you dont have too many stairs to deal with. If you do have a lot of stairs or dont feel ready to do a lot of walking, try some sedentary exercises.
Start by drawing 10-15 clockwise circles with your toes and then switch to counterclockwise. Then, as your ankle heals, try writing the alphabet in the air with your toes.
When it comes to how to heal a sprained ankle fast, the more you can move it, the better! Moving your ankle tells your body that you need this joint in top condition, encouraging it to build stronger tissue.
It can be very helpful to visit a physical therapist to get a targeted exercise program for how to heal a sprained ankle fast.
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How Is An Ankle Sprain Diagnosed
Your doctor can diagnose an ankle sprain. He or she will examine your ankle and ask about your symptoms and activity. The doctor may take an X-ray to confirm your ankle isnt broken or fractured. Once they diagnose the sprain, your doctor will determine the grade. This will determine the type of treatment you receive. If your ankle doesnt get better, your doctor may request an MRI. This is a type of image that allows him or her to see the ligaments inside your ankle.
Why Should You Wrap A Sprained Ankle
The main function of your ligaments is to keep your joints stable. Immediately after injury, your ankle is less stable, and you are at a high risk of spraining it again. Wrapping a sprained ankle provides support and helps decrease swelling while your ligaments heal.
Wrapping your ankle is especially important if your leg will be in a “dependent” position during the dayhanging down to the groundwhere gravity can cause swelling to get worse.
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How To Wrap A Sprained Wrist Or Ankle
5 Minute Read
Medically Reviewed by Urgent Care
Youre at sports practice or you suffer a nasty fall and you think youve twisted your wrist.
If you dont have immediate access to a medical professional, you may need to wrap the injury yourself. Because of the numerous bones and tendons in your wrist, it is important to wrap the sprain soon after youve been hurt. Wrapping your wrist can help immobilize your wrist and keep swelling down.
Heather Rosen, MD, physician and medical director of UPMC Urgent Care North Huntingdon, demonstrates how to wrap a sprained wrist yourself.
Wrapping A Sprained Ankle With An Elastic Ankle Brace
Most times, braces are used for supporting your ankle if youre doing a lot of walking, exercise, or sports after your sprained ankle is mostly healed. There are different kinds of braces, some of which have Velcro straps, some have laces, and some just fit snuggly around your ankle.
Lace-Up Brace: Insert your heel in the hole at the bottom of the brace, then tie the laces snuggly . Wrap the inside strap across the top of your foot, then continue wrapping the strap under your foot and heel.
Velcro Brace: Insert your heel in the hole at the bottom of the brace. Secure the Velcro hook to the loop on the outside of the ankle and pull the strap tight. Wrap the outside strap across the top of your foot and continue with wrapping the strap under the foot and heel.
Elastic/Compression Brace: Slip the brace on like you would a sock. Depending on the type, the balls of your feet will be exposed, as well as your heel. Make sure to get the correct size when shopping for these types of braces.
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How To Wrap A Sprained Ankle
This article was co-authored by Joshua Grahlman, PT, DPT, FAFS. Dr. Joshua Grahlman, PT, DPT, FAFS, is the Founder and Chief Athlete Mechanic of Clutch PT + Performance, a private physical therapy clinic specializing in sports and orthopedics in New York City. With more than a decade of experience, Dr. Grahlman specializes in treating acute and chronic pain and injuries, sports performance optimization and post-operative rehabilitation. Dr. Grahlman earned his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He is one of just a few DPTs in New York City recognized as a Fellow in Applied Functional Science through the Gray Institute for Functional Transformation . He is certified in Active Release Technique and Spinal Manipulation and is a TRX Suspension Training Specialist. Dr. Grahlman has spent his career treating athletes of all levels, from Ironman Champions and Olympians to marathoner moms. He consults for Triathlete, Mens Health, My Fitness Pal and CBS News.There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 94% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 600,745 times.
Athlete Wrapping Ankle Sprain For Competition
I am a gymnast coming up on a big regional tournament. About two weeks ago, I sprained my ankle. My coach wants me to wear tape during the competition. I’m worried it will hold me back. What should I do?
Ankle sprain is one of the most common injuries among all kinds of athletes. And three-fourths of those who sprain their ankles once, do it again. Chronic ankle instability could really effect your performance as a gymnast.
You may want to wear some type of ankle support. If tape seems too restrictive, try using elastic wrap or a neoprene sleeve that fits over the foot and ankle. A recent study comparing different types of ankle taping showed taping does not impair function or performance.
It doesn’t improve performance either. But it gives the athlete a sense of stability and confidence needed during competition. And it may prevent re-injury, which is equally important.
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
Does Collagen Help Joints Heal Faster
When youre looking to help with how to heal a sprained ankle fast at home, its easy to feel frustrated by the limited information. Most advice seems focused on what to do immediately after the injury, with very little help on long-term care.
While taking the immediate steps of ice, compression, and elevation can soothe some pain, they dont do much in the long term. Meanwhile, collagen supplements have a growing body of research and anecdotal evidence pointing to their help with healing.
Does collagen help joints heal faster? More and more, the answer seems to be absolutely.
Caring for a sprained ankle is frustrating, but fortunately, simple. Make sure you rest, ice, and elevate for the first 24-48 hours after injury. After that, use compression, heat, and oral painkillers to manage pain and get moving as soon as you can!
Finally, eat highly nutritious foods and use medical-grade collagen to help your body rebuild.
Living With A Sprained Ankle
Ankle sprains are common problems, but they do heal. However, depending on the grade of your sprain, you may not be able to return to normal activities right away. Your doctor can provide a time frame for your situation. Once you return to regular activities, you still may need to wear an ankle brace or bandage for support and protection.
Your doctor or physical therapist may provide a list of ankle exercises for you to do. This will help strengthen your muscles. He or she will tell you when to start the exercises and how long to do them. Depending on the severity of the sprain, you may need to do them for several weeks. Its important you do the exercises for the amount of time your doctor says. This will help prevent future sprains.
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How Compression Aids An Ankle Sprain
When swelling accumulates in the ankle and foot, there are several ways to promote movement of the fluid. Compression is one of the most effective options, as it will literally push fluid out of the injured area. In addition to swelling management, pressure from a wrap can also soothe irritated nerve endings that are causing pain and sensitivity. Lastly, compression can help boost your bodys own awareness and confidence in bearing weight through the ankle again when youre ready.
Some Tips To Keep Bandage Set For Long:
Since a sprained ankle or other incident occurs to your ankle needs a long-term wrapping on your foot, you need to follow some of the tips to let your dressing alive on your foot for weeks.
- While you start wrapping, make sure any overlap is not loosening
- Tape or stick the end of the bandage correctly to avoid from impairing
- If you find and loosening or other weakness in the dressing while you walk, you should unwrap the particular layer and reset it to let it stay until you want.
And Just follow each of the beginning to end steps we wrote in this article like X,8 and other of the directions, if you do so, we believe that you can quickly become a professional wrapper!
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Rest The Injured Ankle
Resting an injured ankle can speed your recovery as long as you dont overdo it. The idea that you need to stay completely off of your ankle for the full 3 to 6 weeks that your ankle takes to heal is a myth.
When researching how to heal a sprained ankle fast, remember that your body operates on a use it or lose it model. This means that spending too much time resting actually increases your risk for re-injury.
Why? Well, your body notices that you arent using the muscles around your ankle. This causes your body to stop strengthening them. After a few weeks of this, when you try to get back on your feet, your muscles arent ready for normal activity. Your body thought you werent using that joint!
This doesnt mean that you need to jump right back onto your injured ankle, though. Instead, rest for the first 24 – 48 hours and then slowly start returning to normal.
Getting Ready To Wrap The Ankle
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