If you have ever twisted your ankle, you know that ankle pain is extremely painful. Not only does it hurt, but every time you take a step, it hurts all over again. You are going to have to be walking on it so, so how do you treat this injury so you can recover faster and in less discomfort? There are a few things you definitely want to do, and some things you want to avoid.
What Are the Mechanics of Ankle Pain?
The most common ankle injury is a sprain; this happens when the ligament and tendons of the ankle are twisted in a manner they weren’t designed to be twisted. This results in stretching or tearing of those ligaments and tendons. Most ankle injuries are the result of inversion sprains; this is when the ankle twists to the outside in a fast and extreme manner.
P.R.I.C.E. is an acronym for what you need to do immediately after an ankle injury. It stands for Protect, Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate. Doing this as soon as you can after an injury will help reduce the overall damage over time and begin the healing process. Protecting it simply means getting off it, the ice helps reduce swelling, the compress, or ace bandage, also helps with the swelling, as well as aiding in supporting the injured ankle, and lastly, you should elevate your ankle. Elevating your ankle keeps the blood from pooling in any injured or swollen areas.
Type of Injuries
There are different degrees of ankle pain from twisted ankles:
- First Degree – There is some swelling and little loss of function in this level of twisting. You will experience some pain and discomfort, but nothing some ice and an over the counter pain reliever won’t fix.
- Second Degree – This will involve more tearing to the ligaments resulting in more pronounced pain and difficulty in walking. The ankle won’t be able to support much weight and will be rather unstable. You will experience swelling and stiffness in the area.
- Third Degree – This is the most severe form of ankle sprain. The ligament will be torn to the point of rupture and you will not be able to put any weight at all on the foot without suffering extreme pain. Total instability of the joint is to be expected and, most likely, you will need to see your doctor for proper treatment and protection of the ankle.
When you are dealing with an injured ankle, you want to make sure it is wrapped properly with an ace bandage or with a pre-designed ankle support brace. These can be found at your local pharmacy store. Only ice the injury after it happened to reduce swelling and never add heat to it. Stay off your foot as much as possible, but, if you do need to move around, be sure to favor the injured foot. When walking, be sure to wear shoes that are flat to the ground and support the ankle; boots work best for proper ankle support.