It can happen to anyone at any moment. You’re on a run, playing with your dog, rushing to make a meeting or simply walking down the street. That moment when you lose your balance, trip, fall and inevitably land the wrong way on your foot resulting in a sprain. This has happened to me. It’s no fun. Ankle sprains can occur when the foot is extended in a wrong way, usually categorized by a twisting or rolling of your foot. It can happen just by stepping with an uneven force or getting off balance. Any type of movement where you’re over extending the ligaments in your foot can cause ankle pain and strain. A sprained ankle is a fairly common occurrence. In fact, approximately 25,000 people sprain their ankle each day. It’s important to note here, that just because ankle sprains are common doesn't always mean they’re simple. Whenever possible, consult a physician before starting a treatment plan. The symptoms of an ankle sprain like pain, swelling, and bruising are also common with a broken bone. If left untreated, minor ankle sprains can take a long time to heal and can eventually lead to chronic pain. A common treatment method called “R.I.C.E” (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation), is an early way to reduce symptoms of pain, swelling and inability to walk on the injury. Rest: For the first 48 hours after injury, significantly reduce pressure and activity on your foot. Ice: Applying an Ice Pack or Ankle Cold Wrap to the injured ankle to help with pain and reduce swelling in the first 48 hours. Compression: In early treatment, swelling can be reduced by compression using an Ankle or Foot Wrap. Make sure the wrap fits tightly, but not so tight that muscles cannot contract and provide adequate blood flow to your foot. Elevation: Elevate the foot above the heart increasing blood flow and helping reduce pain and inflammation. Resources: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, www.orthoinfo.aaos.org WebMD, http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/ankle-sprain-overview All American Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Institute, http://allamericanorthopedic.com/rice-treatment/    

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