Home Remedies For Sprained Ankle
Sprains are common injuries that can easily be treated with home remedies. The following tips on how to treat sprained ankles at home will show you what treatments work best in your particular situation.
If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
– severe sharp pain when moving the foot or toes
– sudden numbness in the area around the ankle
– muscle weakness in the calf or thigh muscles
– inability to move the foot or toe
Treatment for a mild sprain usually consists of resting the injured area, applying ice packs, elevating the leg above the level of the heart, and using crutches or a cane if necessary. In more serious cases, treatment may require the use of medications such as aspirin (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), ibuprofen (also known by its trade names Motrin and Advil) or naproxen sodium (Aleve). You should also consult with your doctor about whether you need to wear an air cast or walking boot.
In addition, there are many helpful home remedies available for treating minor sprains. Read on to learn how to apply some of them.
One of the most effective ways to relieve pain from a sprained ankle is to put ice cubes wrapped in a towel over the ankle joint. This method works because it reduces swelling and stiffness in the affected area. Leave the ice on until the pain eases completely. If you have difficulty reaching your ankle, try placing two pieces of frozen vegetables under a towel between your bed sheets instead. Never leave untreated open wounds exposed to direct sunlight, since this could increase the risk of infection.
Elevate Your Leg Above Heart Level
When lying down, elevate your injured ankle so that it’s higher than the heart. Lie on your side with one elbow propped up against the mattress and the other arm hanging loose beside the bed. As soon as possible after injuring yourself, cover the wound with a clean cloth moistened with cool water. Keep it dry but not too tight. Do not allow the blood flow to return to the injured part while you sleep. Change the cloth frequently during the night.
Wrap Cold Packs Around Your Foot
Apply a bag of crushed ice wrapped in a wet washcloth to the bottom of your foot or heel. Then place something heavy on top of the pack — like a small weightlifting bar, a rolled blanket, or even a thick book — to keep the ice directly underneath your foot. Wrap another layer of damp towels around your ankle just below the ball of the foot. This will trap heat next to the injured part and make it feel warmer. Repeat this process every hour or so, as long as needed.
Use a Cane or Walker
To aid in mobility, consider using a cane or walker. However, remember that they aren’t intended to replace crutches or a walker. They’re simply additional tools to help you maintain good posture and balance. It’s important to avoid leaning on the cane or walker while standing, and to use only light pressure on it while sitting.
A great way to prevent a fall when using a cane or walker is to hold onto the railings along the edge of stairways and curbs. Also, don’t lean on it while crossing streets. Instead, wait until you’ve reached the other side before putting down the cane or walker.
For more serious sprains, you may want to consider wearing a special type of garment called a static or elastic compression bandage. These garments provide constant support for the ankle throughout the day. After removing your socks and shoes, slip your feet into thin cotton socks and then slide the compression bandages over both feet and cinch them snugly around your ankles. Or, you can use a pair of specially designed sandals or sneakers to achieve the same effect. Make sure to check the fit of the bandages regularly, particularly after prolonged periods of activity. If the bandages become too loose, tighten them again.
After returning to normal activities, remove the bandages slowly, bit by bit, each time taking care not to stretch out the strained ligaments and tendons. Gradually lengthen the bandages over time, beginning with 1 inch per week. To do this safely, follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
There are several different types of compression garments, including ones made specifically for people who suffer from back problems or arthritis. Some also contain heating pads that can warm up sore spots. Other compression products include sleeves, knee wraps, hand splints, braces, and specialty shoe inserts.
Although compression bandages offer the greatest protection for sprained ankles, certain sports shoes, boots, and insoles can also provide extra padding and support. If you think you might have been involved in a high-impact accident, talk to your doctor first about which kind of product would be best for you.
Read on to find out how to properly wrap your ankle to help ease discomfort caused by a sprain.
The bones of the lower extremity attach to the fibula head via the medial and lateral malleolus. When someone suffers a twisted ankle, the bone often moves laterally toward the inner ankle rather than medially toward the outer ankle. The result is a valgus deformity, in which the inner ankle turns outward. A similar condition occurs in dogs with cruciate rupture of the stifle. Valgus refers to inward turning of the distal tibia.
How to Treat a Sprain With An Ace Bandage
An ace bandage serves as an excellent tool for protecting a sprained ankle. Before wrapping the bandage around your ankle, soak the fabric in lukewarm water for 30 minutes. Next, cut a piece of old pantyhose large enough to go around your ankle comfortably. Lay the bandaged foot flat on top of the soaked end of the sock. Starting at the arch, roll the bandage tightly around the ankle and secure it with a rubber band. Place a second piece of pantyhose over the opposite foot, and repeat the soaking procedure. Roll the bandage once more, this time leaving about 2 inches of excess material at either end of the bandage. Cut through the remaining ends of the bandage and pull it up snugly over your foot. Use a pencil to mark the lengthwise edges of the bandage where the ends were previously removed. Fold the bandage in half horizontally across the marked line. This creates a crease that runs parallel to the anklebone. Pulling gently on the marked lines, twist the bandage securely around your ankle. Be careful not to pinch the skin; instead, push down firmly onto the marks without twisting. Tie the bandage loosely once the ankle has been rotated 90 degrees. Remove the bandage when all bleeding stops.
Now that you know how to treat a sprained ankle, read on for more information on related topics.
It takes approximately three weeks for the body to heal a grade I sprain. Grade II sprains take longer to heal. Severe sprain grades III and IV involve permanent damage to the connective tissues, and healing typically requires surgery.
Here are some steps you can take to prevent sprains:
– Warm up thoroughly before exercise. Take at least 20 minutes to loosen stiff muscles and prepare joints for movement.
– Stretch well before exercise. Stretching helps relax tight muscles and improves circulation.
– Wear appropriate footwear. Shoes and boots should fit correctly and cushion the foot adequately. Socks must conform to the shape of the foot to promote proper circulation.
– Avoid running on hard surfaces. Running on soft ground absorbs shock and prevents impact trauma. Soft ground provides better traction than smooth asphalt.
– Watch your diet. Eat plenty of nutrients and drink fluids. Drink lots of water to prevent dehydration.
– Get regular physical therapy. Physical therapists teach patients how to strengthen weak areas and improve flexibility.
– Rest easy. Sleep eight hours a day.
– Consider massage therapy. Massaging the ankle increases circulation and promotes healthy tissue growth.
– Don’t smoke. Smoking causes poor circulation, weakens bones, and depletes oxygen levels in vital organs.
– Protect your eyes. Wearing sunglasses protects your eyes from ultraviolet light.
– Reduce stress. Stress affects the function of our bodies’ systems. Learn relaxation techniques.
– Limit alcohol consumption. Alcohol dehydrates your system and makes you vulnerable to falls.
– Manage diabetes. Diabetics tend to sustain more injuries due to impaired sensation. Exercise caution when driving.
Tips for Wrapping Ankles
Here are some tips for wrapping ankles:
– Check the fit of the bandages regularly, particularly after prolonged periods of activity. If the bandages become too loose, tighten them again.
– Follow the manufacturer’s directions carefully.
– Always seek medical attention immediately if you notice signs of increased pain or tenderness in the injured area.
– If your ankle becomes excessively swollen, you may want to see your physician right away. Excess fluid buildup can lead to sepsis, a potentially deadly infection.
– You’ll probably want to shower as soon as possible after wrapping the ankle. Showering removes sweat and dirt and washes away bacteria.
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