The ankle joint is one of the major joints, because a large part of the weight of the body relies on it. That is why the ankle injury occurs very often. How to prevent and treat a sprained ankle?
A sprain of the joint is the most common injury, although sprains of carpal joint and knee are also common.
Only six out of 1,000 patients with ankle problems get them during sports activities. All other cases are associated with injuries at home and work.
Almost 90% of ankle sprains occur in moving, when the heel is tucked inside. This leads to the fact that the ankle is moved outwards. At this moment knee ligaments – the outer and side – are also stressed.
This case is typical for fashionistas who use high heels. When the foot is “tucked” – there is a sprained ankle. If you hear crunching or crackling, then it means that the stretching is severe, and it is possible that there is a torn ligaments or broken bones.
It is well known to surgeons, that sprain is a very painful injury. The pain increases with movement. In case of severe strain, the patient cannot walk on foot.
Other signs are swelling and a hematoma (bruise). Swelling appears soon after injury. A hematoma usually develops within the first 24 hours. Swelling around the ankle reduces the mobility of the foot and makes the leg even more unstable.
How to treat a sprained ankle
Proper treatment prevents complications. But you need to immediately consult a doctor – surgeon or traumatologist to determine the damage to the ligaments and joints and to take effective measures to solve the problem as soon as possible and to prevent the complications. It is very important to perform all the doctor’s instructions.
When to see a doctor? It must be done in the following cases:
- If the pain and swelling does not decrease and disappear within two weeks after the injury, or if you can not step on the foot after two weeks.
- If the pain in the joint is very strong, or there is swelling in the bones of the ankle joint, or there is a deformation of the joint.
Immediately after the injury put on the affected joint the pressure bandage and ice (do not apply the ice directly to the skin). It helps to reduce swelling and to give the rest to the joint.
Apply ice for 10 to 15 minutes, making a break for about half an hour, but not directly on the skin, but on the gauze or towel, covering the skin. This should be done within the first 24 hours after injury. After this time, the joints need heat – hot baths or hot water bottle. The heat has a relaxing effect. Activating blood circulation, it helps to heal damaged tissue.
If there is severe sprain – no need to step on the foot or make movements with the ankle joint. In this case it is better to spend a few days in bed with raised legs, that reduces the swelling in the foot.
Further treatment depends on the severity of the injury. If it is not very severe and swelling disappears, then after a few days you can begin rehabilitation exercises for the joint, making them without stress, not too straining the muscles and ligaments.
You can make the rotation and flexion-extension of the joint. Do not make movements that provoke pain. Physical exercises should be added gradually, day by day. According to the generally accepted among experts in surgery and traumatology opinion, the movement in the joint should begin as soon as possible, when the pain and swelling disappear, in order to prevent stiffness and muscle atrophy.
Ointments, containing in its composition analgesics, anesthetics and anti-inflammatory drugs, can help reduce the pain in the first days after injury.