An ankle sprain is an injury to the ligaments that support the ankle. It is a common injury that can occur when the foot is twisted or turned in an unnatural way. Here are some general guidelines for what to do when you have an ankle sprain:
- Rest: The first and most important step is to rest the injured ankle as much as possible. Avoid activities that put pressure on the ankle and try to keep the ankle elevated to reduce swelling.
- Ice: Apply an ice pack or cold compress to the ankle to reduce swelling and numb the area. Do this for 15-20 minutes at a time, several times a day.
- Compression: Use an elastic bandage to gently compress the injured area. This will help to reduce swelling and support the ankle.
- Elevation: Keep the injured ankle elevated as much as possible, above the level of your heart, to help reduce swelling.
- Over-the-counter pain medication: Take an over-the-counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen, to help alleviate pain and reduce inflammation.
- See a doctor: It’s important to see a doctor or a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. They can determine the severity of the injury, recommend appropriate treatment and refer you to a specialist if necessary.
- Follow the doctor’s instructions: Follow the treatment plan recommended by your doctor, including any exercises or physical therapy to help the ankle heal properly.
- Protect the injury: Protect the injury from further damage by wearing appropriate shoes and using crutches if necessary.
It’s important to take note that some ankle injuries may require immediate medical attention, such as fractures, dislocations, and severe sprains, if you suspect that you have one of these injuries, seek medical attention right away.