Walking, Running, Jumping, Climbing or playing any other game – ankle sprains are just inevitable sports injuries. The stretching or tearing of one or more ligaments on the outside of the ankle leads to ankle sprain. Be it inversion sprain (ankle rolled inside) or eversion sprain (ankle rolled out), the pain is unbearable and extensive that comes with inflammation too and needs immediate attention. The following aftercare tips definitely help in swift recovery during sports injuries.
- Rest: Take rest for first 3-4 days and do not walk since it puts weight on the injured ankle and may cause further serious injury. Gradually, reintroduce the movement so as not to delay recovery.
- Protection: Put on ankle brace, air stirrup, hiking boots or any other form of ankle support to provide protection to the torn ligaments from further damage. It controls swelling and also gives stability to the healing ligament.
- Ice Package Treatment: Put ice bags for 15-20 minutes on the injured ankle after every two to three hours. It reduces pain and inflammation.
- Compression: It is the best method adopted during most of the sports injuries. It not only controls swelling but also immobilizes and supports the ankle.
- Elevation: Elevating the injured foot over the level of heart surely reduces the swelling to a greater extent.
- Maintenance Exercises: After a few days of the injury, when the pain and swelling is subsided, one may start doing certain light exercises under the supervision of the doctor. It helps increasing flexibility and strength to the injured muscles and ligaments.
- Stretching Exercises: To prevent reoccurrence of injury, it is imperative to do stretching exercises daily after healing is achieved. These exercises induce flexibility, balance, control, and strength to the ankle muscles.
- Strengthening Exercises: In order to provide strength to the muscles of the ankle, these exercises can be started soon after the pain and the swelling are receded.
- Balance and Control Exercises: Balance and Control Exercises must be done soon after pain and swelling is reduced to help prevent reoccurrence of injury and induce mobility.
The aftercare tips mentioned above should be advised to be followed in case of ankle injury but there are certain don’ts too that one should know in order to prevent further damage to the sprained ankle. Here are the don’ts after ankle sprain:
- Taking of hot baths, sauna, shower or heat packs should be prohibited since heat may increase the blood flow, leading to accentuating the inflammation.
- Say ‘No’ to alcohol during sports injuries since it increases the swelling and the pain alike.
- Avoid running or exercising initially as it may cause further damage to the injured area.
- Do not massage the injured area as it may affect swelling and pain.
The aftercare for the sprained ankle is of utmost importance since it leads to faster recovery and makes you less receptive to further damaging your ankle. You are also assured to observe that it also makes your ankle stronger and healthy in no time. Follow these tips sincerely and stay healthy!