Ankle sprains are common injuries. People sustain sprains in all kinds of situations, whether during exercise, sports or activities that are part of their everyday routines.
Sprains typically occur when a person is running or walking and lands on an uneven part of road or flooring. The foot twists sideways and the ligament in the ankle stretches or tears. The ligament is supportive tissue that prevents the ankle from moving too much from side to side. When it is stretched or torn, pain, swelling and bruising can occur, leaving the person unable to walk without significant pain to the ankle.
When treating your sprained ankle, it is important to use good first aid and sprain treatment techniques. Sprains are orthopedic injuries that can have long-lasting consequences if not treated properly.
Applying ice to an ankle sprain is a common part of sprain treatment. The cold temperature from the ice constricts blood vessels, reducing inflammation, pain, swelling and bruising. Using ice on the injury is only effective in the first 48 to 72 hours after the sprain occurs. After this period of time, the effects of ice on the injury will be minimal.
Using ice on an ankle sprain or any other injury can be harmful if it is not used properly. Using ice too frequently or for prolonged periods of time can cause frostbite and other damage to the body, especially if the ice is applied directly to the skin. Using ice safely helps with pain symptoms while ensuring that no further damage is caused to the body.
People with ankle sprains should apply an ice compress to their injury for 15 minutes every one to two hours. Doing this for the first 48 to 72 hours can help reduce the swelling and pain caused by the sprain while it heals.
- Move the ice compress around the site of the injury to avoid frostbite, especially if the ice compress is not wrapped in a towel.
- Do not apply the ice compress for longer than 15-20 minutes at one time. Allow at least one hour between each use of the compress.
- Keep the sprained ankle elevated while applying ice to the injury to keep inflammation to a minimum.
- Covering the compress with a thin cloth or towel helps prevent cold damage but does not reduce the effectiveness of the ice.
- People with sprains should get enough rest to avoid worsening their injury.
- Use a plastic resealable bag filled with ice or bags of small frozen vegetables such as corn or peas for a compress.
It is important to see a doctor following any type of injury. Sprains involve damage to the ligaments and may be more serious than the injured person knows. People experiencing severe pain or whose ankle sprains do not improve within two weeks may have severe sprains that require medical attention. The doctors at Providence Orthopaedic Singapore can evaluate ankle sprains to ensure that no lasting damage or pain occurs as a result of an injury. Check out Are Supplements Helpful For Reducing Joint Pain?