An ankle sprain occurs when you twist your joint, injuring the ligaments that connect the bones in the joint. It is usually caused by walking or running on uneven ground, wearing high-heel shoes or tripping over things.
A sprain can range from mild to severe and can be painful, swollen and bruised . While severe sprains require medical care, here’s what you should do if you sprain your ankle.
Stay off your feet
For the first two days, you have to stay off your feet. If you have to walk, use a cane or crutch on the uninjured side. This will help take weight off the hurt foot. Furthermore, since you risk another sprain as long as your ankle is weak, continue to support it with sturdy shoes and bandage even after the pain is gone.
Ice it: Put an ice pack on your ankle for about 20 minutes three to four times a day.
Do a figure eight wrap
Wrap your ankle in an elastic bandage to not only control swelling but support and protect it especially if you have t walk around. The wrapping starts at your toes, making a figure eight at your ankle. Then, continue wrapping loosely about 10 cm up the leg. Try not to wrap too tightly as this will make your toes go numb and wear the wrap for as long as the ankle hurts.
Put your ankle above your heart
It’s important that you keep your hurt ankle propped up above the level of your heart if you can. Lie down on your couch with your foot elevated on a pillow.
Take a contrast bath
If there’s still swelling after a few days, try a contrast bath two times a day. Put your foot in cold water for 2 minutes then move it warm water for another 2 minutes. You have to repeat this process of moving your foot from one bath to another at least four times.
Roll your foot 5-10 times a day
Rolling your foot helps strengthen the muscles supporting the ankle. You have to take off your shoe and bandage and let your leg hang freely. Then, roll your foot in circular motion atleast four times making both clockwise and anticlockwise circles.
Stand on the hurt leg
Only do this after a few days. Keep all your weight on the sore leg, while lifting the other off the floor. Maintain this position for a few minutes. The best time to do this is is when you brush your teeth in the morning and evening.
Take the stairs backward
You’ll find that pointing your toes forward will be painful for weeks after the sprain. So, to regain flexibility, try to climb three flights of stairs, backward. Try to do this until you don’t feel the pain anymore.
Don’t push too hard
If you find yourself spraining your ankle over and over again, you might pushing too hard and too long when you exercise. The muscles that support the ankle are vulnerable to fatigue. So, slow down.