Ankle sprains are a common injury that can happen to anyone, from athletes to everyday people. They occur when the ligaments that support the ankle are stretched or torn, and can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. Whether you are a runner, a basketball player, or just someone who likes to take a walk outside, an ankle sprain can happen to anyone. It is important to be aware of the symptoms of a sprained ankle and to know what steps to take for pain relief and recovery.
In this blog, we will discuss the symptoms of a sprained ankle, the best ways to recover from a sprained ankle and when it is appropriate to seek help from an ankle or fracture specialist.
Symptoms of a Sprained Ankle
Symptoms of a sprained ankle include pain, swelling, stiffness, and difficulty bearing weight on the affected foot. You may also notice bruising or discolouration around the ankle. If you are suffering from severe pain, an inability to walk, or a deformity in the region, it is important to see a doctor immediately. These symptoms could indicate a more serious injury, such as a fracture or ligament tear, and require prompt treatment.
Recovering from a Sprained Ankle
If your symptoms are mild to moderate, there are a few things you can do at home.
1. Rest and ice the foot
First, try to rest and elevate the affected foot to reduce swelling. Applying ice to the ankle can also help to numb the pain and reduce inflammation. You should ice your ankle for 15-20 minutes at a time, several times a day, for the first 48-72 hours after the injury.
You can use a bag of frozen vegetables or a cold pack for this purpose. It is also important to avoid putting weight on the affected foot until the swelling has gone down.
2. Take over-the-counter medications
Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen can also help to reduce pain and inflammation. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label, and avoid taking more than the recommended dosage.
You should also avoid taking these medications on an empty stomach, as they can cause stomach upset.
3. Do gentle exercises
It is also important to keep the ankle mobile by doing exercises that help to stretch and strengthen the muscles around the ankle. This can promote healing and prevent stiffness. Gentle range-of-motion exercises such as ankle circles, heel raises, and toe taps can be easily done at home.
4. Wear supportive devices
Wearing a brace, splint, or supportive shoe can also help to protect your ankle and promote healing. Your doctor or physical therapist can help you choose the right device for your injury.
Seek Help from an Ankle or Fracture Specialist
When self-treatment at home does not improve your sprained ankle, it is important to seek professional orthopaedic attention. A foot and ankle specialist will be able to diagnose the injury and recommend the appropriate course of treatment. Options may include physical therapy, bracing, or even ankle ligament surgery in severe cases.
At OrthofootMD, you will first undergo a consultation with our orthopaedic specialists to find out more about your injury. A suitable treatment regime will then be proposed to help you recover from your sprained ankle or fracture. With clinics in Mount Elizabeth Novena and Mount Alvernia Hospital – both centrally located in Singapore, you do not have to go far to seek help.
A sprained ankle can be painful and debilitating. If you suspect that you have a sprained ankle, it is a good idea to find out what the symptoms are and what steps you can take for pain relief. Whether it is treating it yourself at home or going to a doctor, with time and the right care, you will be able to return to your normal activities in no time.
Make an appointment to see our specialists in Singapore today.