How To Treat And Prevent A Sprained Ankle
A sprained ankle typically occurs individuals roll their ankle and tears a ligament. Multiple ligaments link the ankle bones together and keep them from moving too far. The ligament located on the outer side of the ankle is more likely to become torn. A doctor diagnoses a sprained ankle after an examination of the patient's foot, lower leg, and ankle. The doctor will typically touch the skin surrounding the injury and ask about the patient's pain. They will also typically check the patient's range of motion in their ankle. It is common for doctors to order an imaging scan like an x-ray to make sure the bones are not broken.
Sprained ankle treatment varies based on the severity of the injury. Many patients are successful when they use natural remedies for a sprained ankle, including rest and ice. Compression socks for a sprained ankle are also popular. However, some individuals may need medicine for a sprain. Specifically, they will need a pain reliever for ankle sprains. Of course, it is best to consider all treatments for a sprained ankle before making a decision.
Rest And Ice
The first line of treatment prescribed is typically to use rest and ice. If the patient's pain is not severe, they can often treat mild sprains at home with this method without needing to see a doctor. A torn ligament needs time to heal. When individuals continue walking and putting pressure on their foot, it further strains the ligament rather than allowing the bands of tissue to knit themselves back together. Ice is typically used to help manage pain and swelling. If individuals work at a job that requires them to be on their feet, they should ask if they can use a stool or chair while they heal. Affected individuals might also use crutches to keep weight off their injured ankle and foot.
It is important to use ice safely and not apply it to the injury constantly. However, immediately after the injury, patients should use an ice pack or slush bath for fifteen to twenty minutes. They should remove the ice and reapply it every two or three hours with a cloth between the ice pack and their skin while they are awake. If individuals have any underlying medical conditions, they should talk to a doctor before using ice.
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