When playing sports and exercising, injuries are bound to happen. One of the most common injuries to occur is an ankle sprain. An ankle sprain is an injury to the ligaments. The ligaments, which connect the bones to one another, support and stabilize your ankle. This could take a week or even a few months to heal. Knowing the proper methods of rehabilitation can cut down on healing time and improve ankle strength. Here are a few simple steps to a speedy recovery.
The first step to recovery is Rest. Once you have sprained your ankle swelling and pain will generally occur. Limit your mobility during this time and wear a brace or air cast for ankle protection. Stay off your ankle for as long as it takes the swelling to go down. If you continue to walk or put pressure on the ankle further injuries could occur during this step in the recovery.
The second step to recovery is Icing your ankle. Icing your ankle can help prevent further swelling, pain, and dysfunction. Ice your ankle for no more than 20 minutes, three to four times a day. Icing your ankle too long can cause more damage and hurt your recovery. Using a wrap to apply around the ice and your ankle can help prevent swelling and is often more comfortable.
The third step is Compression. Compression of your ankle helps to immobilize and support your injury. After a sprain, your ankle is weak and vulnerable. Keeping your ankle protected with ankle braces and wraps is very important. Compression to the ankle should not be too tight. If compression is too tight, then the circulation will be impaired and the healing process will be slowed. The less activity you do during this time the better, but if you do have to become mobile, use protection.
The fourth and final step is Elevation. Keeping your foot elevated by pillows or blankets is a vital step to recovery. It helps minimize swelling and helps prevent pain. Keep your ankle at heart level during this period and try to elevate for 24-48 hours
Performing the correct rehabilitation is monumental in any recovery process. Following these four easy steps is an easy way to gain strength and mobility back to your ankle. All injuries are different, so if you do not see results within a few weeks, consult a doctor or a professional.