They may be one of the more common sports injuries, but that doesn’t mean that ankle sprains aren’t serious. Even minor ankle sprains need to be treated properly, otherwise athletes may find themselves with repeat injuries.
An ankle sprain occurs when the ligaments on the outside of your ankle are stretched or torn. They can occur during a strenuous workout or simple, every day activities. Regardless of their severity, it’s helpful to know the most effective ways to treat a sprained ankle:
Use the R.I.C.E Method
R.I.C.E. stands for Rest, Ice, Compress, and Elevate. When you sprain your ankle, your first order of business is to reduce the swelling. To do this, you should immediately stop putting weight on it and elevate your injury so that it is above the level of your heart. Next, you should put a bag of ice wrapped in thin cloth on the area that is swelling to reduce inflammation. Compressing the injury can also help reduce the swelling.
Restore Your Range of Motion
After you have reduced the swelling, it’s important to properly restore the range of motion and stability of your ankle. Remaining immobile for too long is a common error that many people make with the R.I.C.E method. Performing exercises that stretch your Achilles tendon will help restore your range of motion once again.
Stretch and Strengthen Your Ankle
Once you have a full range of motion in your ankle and the pain is gone, it’s time to stretch and strengthen your ankle. This will ensure that your ankle heals properly and help prevent ankle sprains in the future. In addition to exercises that will strengthen lower leg muscles, it is also beneficial to focus on proprioceptive training to improve balance and stability.
For the best results, make sure that you consult a professional. They will be able to tell you which strengthening routines will be best for your type of ankle sprain and guide you towards a speedy recovery.