A sprained ankle can truly disrupt your everyday life by causing intense pain and foot disability. Even in mild to moderate cases, you won’t be able to walk very well until your ankle is healed.
Fortunately, most cases of sprained ankles can be treated at home using simple remedies. However, it’s important for a sprain to be treated properly to facilitate quick recovery and to prevent the injury from worsening.
Let’s talk about how you should treat a sprained ankle, and where you can go in San Antonio and South Texas for world-class podiatry treatment.
First Aid for a Sprained Ankle
A sprain occurs when you overstretch or tear the ligament, which is the fibrous band of tissue connecting two bones. An ankle sprain often results from landing your foot on an uneven surface, rolling your foot and ankle, or receiving a traumatic blow to the ankle area. Sprains commonly occur in athletes or people who have active lifestyles.
Immediately after sustaining the injury, remove your shoe. Use the R.I.C.E. method promptly:
● Rest – Relieve any weight from your sprained ankle in order to avoid aggravating the injury. Be careful of moving the area, but do move the leg gently and massage it in order to facilitate circulation and to prevent blood clots from developing.
● Ice – Apply an ice pack over the sprained ankle to help reduce pain and subdue swelling. Be sure to wrap the ice pack with a towel and avoid direct contact with your skin.
● Compression – Gently wrap the sprained ankle with a medical bandage or athletic tape. Be careful not to wrap it too tightly to avoid cutting off circulation.
● Elevation – While sitting or lying down, raise the injured foot area to a level higher than your heart in order to help reduce swelling. Doing this will harness the natural power of gravity to pull fluids from the ankle area back to the heart.
How Is a Sprained Ankle Diagnosed?
Sprains are diagnosed with a physical check plus imaging tests, such as an X-ray.
Sprains generally fall into three categories:
1. Grade 1 (mild sprain) – Your ligament is a little overstretched.
2. Grade 2 (moderate sprain) – You experience stretching coupled with some minor tears in the ligament.
3. Grade 3 (severe sprain) – Your ligament is completely torn.
Most mild and moderate sprains can be treated at home with the R.I.C.E. method. Be sure to ice the area four to eight times a day, no more than 20 minutes per session.
Medications and Assistive Devices
Taking over-the-counter pain relievers should work for mild to moderate ankle sprains. You may also use assistive devices to support yourself when you walk and to restrict your ankle mobility, thereby facilitating healing.
Examples of assistive devices include:
● Ankle braces
Some ankle sprains that comprise complete ligament tears can heal without surgery; those cases require prompt first aid and immobilization of the injured area. However, there are some instances where a sprained ankle is so severe that it requires surgery to repair the tear.
Ankle Specialist in San Antonio, TX
If you’re looking for an ankle specialist, look no further than The Podiatry Group of South Texas. We have a team of highly skilled foot and ankle doctors who can provide you with comprehensive care and outstanding podiatry services.
To learn more about us or to schedule an appointment, call our friendly staff today at (210) 227-8700 or fill out our secure online appointment request form. We look forward to serving you at one of our 14 locations across South Texas!