Ankle sprains often happen during exercise and sporting activities and just taking one wrong step while crossing the street can cause an ankle sprain. If the injury isn’t too bad, your ankle will get better with the RICE method (see below). For severe sprains, always see your foot doctor to ensure proper treatment and to avoid future problems.
Proper treatment for a sprained ankle includes the following:
- Initial treatment—An ankle sprain should first be treated with Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation (the RICE method). This is most effective immediately following the injury and for a day or two as swelling, pain, and bruising are alleviating.
- Keep the weight off—After the initial resting period, try to avoid putting weight on your foot and get to your foot doctor for a proper evaluation. Use crutches, a cane, or a wheelchair if necessary. A specially designed rigid boot can be used to prevent the ankle from moving while it heals. The boot can be used for walking and removed during rest periods.
- Physical therapy—This is the most important part of proper ankle sprain treatment. When the initial healing process is complete, it is essential to work with your podiatrist to slowly strengthen the ankle and surrounding tendons and ligaments without causing a new injury. When an ankle sprain doesn’t heal properly the first time, the joint is more susceptible to another injury and repeated injuries can result in chronic ankle instability.
If you are experiencing ankle pain, we highly recommend that you consult our board certified podiatrists. At Your Next Step, our team of board-certified podiatrists has access to advanced technologies, along with years of experience, to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, including sports injuries, joint pain, toe deformities, nail fungus, chronic tendon pain, and skin problems. Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen provide high quality foot and ankle care to patients in the greater Philadelphia area at our offices conveniently located in Ardmore, Paoli, Woodlyn, and Downingtown. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.