What Do You Do If You Think Your Child Sprained Their Ankle
- Rest from activities that aggravate pain.
- Ice for 15-20 minutes at a time to help alleviate pain. You can do this multiple time a day. Do not apply ice directly to the skin or you may be at risk for frostbite.
- Compression in the form of an ACE wrap or a sleeve. Sometimes a walking boot may be used, but this is best done under the guidance of a physician.
- Elevate the affected ankle above your heart throughout the day as often as possible to help minimize swelling.
Physical Therapy Sprained Ankle Exercises
Physical therapy is a popular rehabilitation treatment for severe ankle sprains, and it can also help prevent re-injury for those struggling with ankle instability and chronic ankle sprains. Physical therapy for ankle sprains focuses on strengthening the muscles of the foot, as well as targeting connective tissues to increase flexibility and range of motion. A physical therapist will create a personalized exercise regimen based on the injury and physiology of the patient. During the initial stages of treatment, the physical therapist will demonstrate how to properly perform these exercises. However, once the individual is comfortable, these exercises can be performed from the convenience and comfort of home. Physical therapy exercises should be performed daily for optimal results.
Whether you are struggling with ankle instability as a result of chronic ankle sprains, or have a child who has just suffered his or her first ankle sprain, there are many treatment options that can restore stability and prevent future sprains in the years ahead. At Sports Medicine Oregon, we offer a wide range of conservative care treatments, as well as surgical options when appropriate, to help athletes and active individuals achieve their activity and stability goals. Dont let ankle instability hold you back. Take the next step and minimize your risk of injury-related osteoarthritis today!
When To See A Pharmacist
Speak to a pharmacist about the best treatment for you. They might suggest tablets or a cream or gel you rub on the skin.
Painkillers like paracetamol can ease the pain.
Ibuprofen can bring down swelling. But you should not take ibuprofen for 48 hours after your injury because it may slow down healing.
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Treating Your Sprained Ankle
Treating your sprained ankle properly may prevent chronic pain and looseness. For a Grade 1 sprain, follow the R.I.C.E. guidelines:
Rest your ankle by not walking on it. Limit weight bearing and use crutches if necessary. If there is no broken bone you are safe to put some weight on the leg. An ankle brace often helps control swelling and adds stability while the ligaments are healing.
Ice it to keep down the swelling. Don’t put ice directly on the skin and don’t ice more than 20 minutes at a time to avoid frostbite.
Compression can help control swelling as well as immobilize and support your injury.
Elevate the foot by reclining and propping it up above the waist or heart as needed.
Swelling usually goes down in a few days.
For a Grade 2 sprain, follow the R.I.C.E. guidelines and allow more time for healing. A doctor may immobilize or splint your sprained ankle.
A Grade 3 sprain puts you at risk for permanent ankle looseness . On rare occasions, surgery may be needed to repair the damage, especially in competitive athletes. For severe ankle sprains, your doctor may also consider treating you with a short leg cast for 2-3 weeks or a walking boot. People who sprain their ankle repeatedly may also need surgical repair to tighten their ligaments.
What Do I Do If I Sprain My Ankle
Theres a good chance youor someone you knowhas had a sprained ankle. This very common condition comprises about 30 percent of injuries seen at sports medicine clinics. And not just athletes are affected, more than 23,000 people each day seek care for a sprained ankle and half of all sprains seen in the emergency room are unrelated to sports.
, Assistant Professor, Rehabilitation Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and Attending Physician at Mount Sinai-Union Square, explains how to treat this common injury and what to do if you have chronic ankle instability.
What happens when you sprain an ankle?
Ankle sprains happen when you turn, twist, or roll the joint in a way that causes you to stretch or tear one or more of the three thick bands of tissue that keep our ankles stable. Sprains occur when we misstep and put pressure on the ankle while it is out of its normal position. Often, we sprain our ankle when we walk on an uneven surface, such as a city street, or when were running and changing direction. Most sprains affect the ligaments on the outer side of the ankle.
Doctors typically put sprained ankles into one of three categories:
What should I do if I sprain my ankle?
What kind of self-care can I do?
If you have a minor, grade one sprain, there are a few things you can do to heal at home. Try these for a day or two and, if your ankle does not improve by the third day, you should probably see a doctor.
How long do I need to stay off my injured foot?
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When Should I Seek Medical Attention For A Sprained Ankle
Ankle sprains are common and most heal quickly with proper treatment. But they shouldnt be taken lightly. Be sure you get your injury checked out, especially if you have pain or other concerns.
The trusted, friendly medical professionals at Indigo Urgent Care are available every day from 8 am to 8 pm to evaluate your sprained ankle and offer treatment options that will help get you back in action.
We have on-site digital X-ray services to rule out a minor fracture, and well even send you home with a pair of crutches if you need them.
When You Should Seek Medical Attention
Luckily, many acute sports- and exercise-related injuries can be treated at home following the treatment suggestions below. However, a severe sprain may require a health professional or even an immediate visit to one of your local urgent care clinics. If you fear that you might have a broken ankle, ankle fracture, or dislocated ankle, head for the hospital immediately for an X-ray. Other signs that you may need to see a doctor include:
- Inability to put weight on the ankle, even after a few days of rest.
- Increased swelling, discoloration, or deformity at the site.
- Experience extreme pain that cannot be controlled.
- Paralysis, tingling, or other health issues.
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Common Ankle Injuries: How To Treat A Sprained Ankle
Around the house, on the playing field, or somewhere in between, many of us will suffer a sprained ankle or two in our lifetime. In fact, its been estimated that approximately 28,000 Americans sprain an ankle each day. Interestingly enough, while ankle sprains represent nearly 10 percent of all emergency room visits, roughly 68 percent of people who suffer from them do not seek professional medical treatment. Many individuals are used to simply walking it off and may potentially return to play well before the injury has fully healed. This is truly unfortunate, because an ankle sprain may weaken the surrounding tissues, leading to ankle instability and increasing the chances of the injury occurring again in the future. A single severe sprain or a history of ankle sprains may set the stage for other conditions, including osteoarthritis, later in life. Of course, not all ankle sprains will require professional treatment, and there are many at-home remedies suitable for treating mild sprains. However, if a chronic condition does develop, it may require conservative care therapies or other treatments. At Sports Medicine Oregon, we specialize in a range of sprained ankle treatments and preventative care options, to keep athletes and other active individuals on the move.
The Brostrom Procedure And Chronic Sprained Ankle Surgery
There are many ankle sprain treatment options available and, depending on the injury, surgery may be recommended for optimal results. After repeated ankle sprains, the surrounding ligaments may become loose due to overstretching. These weakened or overstretched ligaments will leave the ankle unstable and lead to an increased risk of future ankle sprains. An acute ankle injury such as a severe ankle sprain may also result in torn ligaments. Lateral ankle ligament reconstruction is a common ankle surgery used to treat both chronic ankle instability and severe ankle sprains. During the procedure, the surgeon will make a small incision along the ankle and then tighten the overstretched ligament or ligaments to increase stability and minimize the risk of future ankle sprains. If a patient has suffered a torn ankle ligament, the surgeon will use sutures to repair the damaged ligament. Depending on the extent of tissue damage, it may be necessary to use a tissue graft to support the damaged ligaments and stabilize the joint.
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When To Start Exercises For Ankle Sprains
Most people can start ankle rehabilitation exercises within three days after the ankle injury, if its not too severe. But theres no set timetable. Listen to your own body, and follow your doctors advice.
For the first few days, youll need to rest and apply an ice pack to your injured ankle for 10 to 15 minutes every few hours. Dont let the ice touch your skin and dont leave it on so long that it burns you.
For many people, the rest period is about three days. After that, you can gradually increase the use of your ankle and begin a program of home exercises or physical therapy.
For non-athletes, doctor-prescribed home exercises alone may be just as good as a supervised exercise program. A 2007 study of 102 people who had sprained ankles showed no major difference to recovery after one year from a supervised exercise program compared to standard care with unsupervised home exercises.
Discuss rehabilitation exercises with your doctor and do your own research to help you decide which treatment is best for you.
Ankle Injuries When To See A Doctor
Ankle injuries are very common, especially if youre active or play sports. If you experience an injury or have sudden ankle pain, do you need medical attention? Or should you rest and see if it gets better?
If you have certain symptoms, do not try to tough it out or play through the pain, says Gregory Waryasz, MD, CSCS, a Mass General Brigham sports medicine specialist and certified strength and conditioning specialist. Dr. Waryasz is director of Foot and Ankle Sports Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, orthopaedic consultant for Northeastern University, and team physician for Boston Public Schools and the Boston Renegades Beep Baseball Team.
Sudden pain, swelling, trouble walking, and other symptoms can signal a need for medical attention. Waiting too long can lead to repeat injuries, more complex treatments, worse long-term results, and even arthritis.
Acute, sudden pain in the ankle with a trauma is often caused by an ankle injury, Dr. Waryasz says. If you feel a pop, or if you feel like someone kicked you in the back of the leg but nobodys there, then you should be seen within 24 to 48 hours.
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Treating Sprains And Strains At Home
For the first couple of days, follow the 4 steps known as RICE therapy. They help bring down swelling and support the injury.
RICE therapy includes:
To help prevent swelling, try to avoid heat, alcohol and massages for the first couple of days. This includes hot baths and heat packs.
When you can move the injured area without pain stopping you, try to keep moving it. This is so the joint or muscle does not become stiff.
Rehabilitation In The Early Stages
It is okay to walk on a sprained ankle as long as it is stable enough to support your weight and without excessive pain. However, if you are not yet able to put weight on the joint there are gentle exercises you can do to keep your ankle limber in the first 48 hours. These include isometric and ROM exercises which cause contractions of the muscles around the joint. Whether passive or active , these should be done as much as tolerated for a few minutes at a time. Examples of ROM exercises are:
- Dorsiflexion and plantar flexion. This means moving your foot up and down.
- Tracing the alphabet with your toe.
- Toe curls- done by picking up a towel with your toes repeatedly.
Once you can tolerate some weight on the ankle, its time to focus on stretching, balance, and stability training. These exercises may help you to regain coordination in your ankle muscles, thus preventing recurrent sprains in the future. Some exercises you can do include:
- Towel stretches
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What Are The Types Of Ankle Sprains
There are three types of ankle sprains based on how much ligament damage occurred:
- Grade 1 . The ligament fibers stretched slightly or there is a very small tear. Your ankle will have minor swelling and tenderness to the touch.
- Grade 2 . The ligament is torn, but it isnt a complete tear. Your ankle has swelling over the injury and it hurts to move.
- Grade 3 . The ligament is torn completely. Your ankle has significant swelling, the injury is painful and walking is difficult.
When Should I Seek Medical Help
You dont always need to seek medical help for a sprained ankle. You can usually treat a mild ankle sprain by following some self-care measures at home. See our section on self-help below for more information on this. But if your sprain is very bad, you may need medical attention. Its possible you may have damaged other parts of your ankle such as the bones or tendons. And it can be difficult to distinguish between a very bad sprain and a fracture without an X-ray.
Seek medical attention straight away if your ankle is too painful to stand on, seems deformed or your skin is broken. You can usually go to an urgent treatment centre or minor injury unit for injuries like these, but phone NHS 111 if youre not sure. You should also have your ankle checked out if the pain and swelling dont improve or they get worse after a few days.
If you keep spraining your ankle or it feels unstable, make an appointment to see your GP or a physiotherapist.
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It Takes Less Force To Sprain An Ankle As We Age A Few Precautions Can Help To Reduce The Severity Of These Injuries Or Avoid Them Altogether
Few of us have gone through life without spraining an ankle. Sprains are among the most common musculoskeletal injuries in people of all ages, and ankles are particularly vulnerable because of the small size of the joint and the forces exerted on it when the body is in motion. While younger people usually sustain sprains while running or jumping, for older people just stepping off a curb awkwardly or walking on an uneven ground can do it. “As you age, your balance and strength can diminish, especially if you’ve been immobile, increasing your risk for sprains,” says Dr. Holly Johnson, a foot and ankle orthopedic surgeon at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.
Physiotherapy For A Sprained Ankle
You dont always need physiotherapy for a sprained ankle. But if your sprain is very bad or isnt getting better after a week or so, you may benefit from seeing a physiotherapist. You can often book an appointment with a physiotherapist directly, without needing to see your GP. This is known as self-referral. Ask at your GP surgery to see whether or not this is available in your area.
A physiotherapist can develop a formal exercise programme for you which will involve co-ordination exercises and balance training. It will aim to build your strength and mobility while getting back the full range of movement in your ankle. Having strong ankle muscles and joints may mean youre less likely to sprain your ankle again. Its important to stick to the exercise plan your physiotherapist recommends. This will help to make sure your ankle is back to full strength before you return to any sports or high impact activities.
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Bottom Line On Ankles
With the said symptoms and probable urgent care, its now easier for you to realize whether you have suffered an ankle injury and ways to recover from one. You may as well prevent yourself from getting a sprain by warming up before exercising and also wearing the right foot gear while walking on uneven surfaces.
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Do Physical Therapy Exercises
After the initial period of rest and icing, you may benefit from physical therapy exercises that stretch and strengthen the tissues around your ankle. Here are some commonly prescribed exercises for patients with ankle sprains:
- Heel slides: Sit on the edge of a chair with your injured leg extended straight out in front of you and your other leg bent at the knee with your foot flat on the floor. Slowly slide your heel along the floor until it is as close to your buttock as possible. Return to the first position slowly and repeat at least 10 times.
- Toe raises: Stand up straight with both feet flat on the ground, keeping weight evenly distributed between them. Gently raise your injured foot off of the ground, holding for two seconds before lowering back down again. Repeat 10 times.
Exercising before you are ready and not doing it correctly can be worse for your condition. To be completely safe, consult an injury doctor who can recommend physical therapy exercises.
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