Sprains are injuries to the ligaments in a joint. Ligaments are strong bands of tissue that connect the ends of the bones together, providing stable support to the joint.
If you have sprained your ankle, it means the ligaments around your ankle joint are injured. During this time, your ankle joint will be painful and unstable. It is important that you take good care of your ankle to prevent long-term problems and maintain a good range of motion.
What medicines will my doctor give me?
Your doctor may give you medications to relieve pain and discomfort. Some of these medications may also help to reduce swelling around your injured ankle joint.
What things can I do at home to feel better?
For the first 24 to 48 hours, use the R.I.C.E (rest, ice, compression and elevation) method to care for your sprained ankle at home.
Resting takes the pressure off your injured ankle joint and helps with healing. Avoid standing or putting weight on your injured ankle. If walking is too painful, your doctor may suggest that you use a crutch. Stay off your feet until you can walk without pain.
Ice helps to reduce swelling and pain.
To start with,
a) Wrap an ice pack in a thin towel and put it on the injured part of the ankle for 15 minutes
b) Take the ice off for 10 minutes
c) Put the ice back on for 15 minutes
d) Apply the ice pack for 15 minutes each time, 3 times a day, for 2 days
Compression helps to keep swelling down and support your injured ankle.
Your doctor or nurse will show you how to wrap your ankle. For the next 48 hours, keep the elastic bandage around your ankle on. Be careful not to wrap it too tightly, as it will reduce blood flow to your foot.
Loosen the bandage if you feel:
• Tingling sensation
• Increased pain
Elevation helps to reduce swelling and pain. Keep your ankle raised above the level of your heart. Prop up your injured ankle with pillows while lying down or rest your injured ankle on a chair or table to reach the desired height.
When can I return to normal activities and resume exercise?
You can return to your usual activities and exercise when you can walk fully without any pain. If you return too soon, your injury may worsen. Your doctor and nurse will show you how to monitor your recovery progress. Your doctor may also recommend that you see a physical therapist to guide you with some ankle-strengthening exercises during this period.
When do I need to seek further help or see my doctor again?
Please contact your doctor or nurse if you have any of the following:
• Worsened pain or swelling
• No improvement in pain or swelling within 3 days
• Unable to bear any weight within 3 days
• Pain remains after 1 week
With reference to www.uptodate.com