Athletes know that sprained ankles should be treated immediately to prevent further injury and reduce swelling. In past blogs I have discussed the benefits of using the RICE treatment approach. For treatments of sprained ankles, I'll suggest using the PRICE technique along with some simple rehab and prevention suggestions:
Protection: Immobilize the sprained ankle with a wrap or a splint to prevent any further injury. If your sprained ankle is like the ones I've had, you will want a cane or crutches to keep weight off the ankle. [caption id="attachment_1931" align="aligncenter" width="160"]LP Air/Gel Ankle Brace LP Air/Gel Ankle Brace[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1933" align="aligncenter" width="160"]LP Ankle Wrap LP-634 LP Ankle Wrap[/caption]
Rest: Limit activity as much as possible to prevent pain, swelling and discomfort. Don't get too depressed because you can still exercise other muscle groups without putting pressure on the ankle.  
Ice: Ice the area immediately with an ice pack or ice bag. If you are at home you can even give your ankle a short ice bath. Repeat the ice treatment every hour or so for 15-20 minutes up to 72 hours after the injury. The cold therapy decreases swelling, bleeding, spasm, pain and inflammation by constricting the blood vessels. When the swelling and bleeding has subsided you may apply heat via hot packs, hot water bags or whirlpool baths. This will increase blood flow and promote soft tissue repair. [caption id="attachment_1934" align="aligncenter" width="164"]ProSeries Ice Bag ProSeries Ice Bag[/caption]
Compression: An elastic wrap or combination ice pack/compression wrap will stop swelling and stabilize the injured soft tissue. You should continue the compression even when the cold treatment isn't applied. Make sure the compression isn't so tight that you feel a throbbing because circulation is cut off. Make sure you start the compression wrap at the end furthest from your heart. Elevation: Elevating the ankle is important because it will reduce the pooling of fluids in the  ankle. The experts recommend elevating the ankle above the level of the heart especially at night. [caption id="attachment_1879" align="aligncenter" width="150"]ProSeries Double Ankle Ice Wrap ProSeries Double Ankle Ice Wrap[/caption]


When the swelling, inflammation and pain have subsided its time to strengthen the muscles surrounding the ankle. An easy way to increase ankle flexibility and strength is using a Thera-Band. These stretchy lengths of rubber come in different sizes. It's easy to vary the resistance by simply changing the length of the section you are using. Wobble boards and balance disks are a fun and very effective way to strengthen the ankle muscles and retrain your damaged ligaments to adjust your position and maintain your balance.
[caption id="attachment_1935" align="aligncenter" width="150"]Boards4Health Multi-Wobble Board 20 inch Boards4Health Multi-Wobble Board 20 inch[/caption] [caption id="attachment_152" align="aligncenter" width="140"]BodySport Balance Pad or Disk BodySport Balance Pad[/caption]

Prevention Hints:

  • Maintain ankle muscle strength and flexibility
  • Warm up before you work out or participate in sports
  • Don't play competitive sports for which you aren't conditioned
  • Watch when walking or running for uneven surfaces
  • Wear quality shoes that fit and are made for your sport
  • Ladies be conservative with your high heeled shoes
About the Author: Bruce is the president of Return2Fitness, an online sports medical resource and product center. His "entrepreneurial spirit" has resulted in the founding or acquisition of 20 companies during his 39 year career. Bruce is not a medical professional so please consult your local specialist before making any changes in the treatment of any injury or condition. Thanks for reading my post! For more information connect with me: Return2FitnessEmailLinkedInFacebookSquidoo  

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1 comment

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