Ankle sprains can happen to anyone. While ankle sprains happen when playing sports, they can also happen when you're just going for a stroll. If you happen to step on a rock that rolls out from under you, you might twist your ankle and injure a ligament.
The ligament tear causes bruising, swelling, pain, and difficulty walking. You might manage minor sprains at home yourself, but you should see a podiatrist if your sprain doesn't heal quickly or if the pain keeps you from walking. Here are some ankle sprain treatments your podiatrist might suggest.
Swelling can be controlled by keeping your foot elevated, using ice on your ankle, wearing a compression bandage, and taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication. Your podiatrist might wrap your ankle and show you how to do it too so you can keep your ankle wrapped for a few days at home. The doctor can also recommend medications that control your swelling and pain if you need them.
Rest Your Ankle
You'll probably need to rest your ankle for a few days after your sprain. Rest keeps you from irritating tissues that are damaged so they can start healing. Rest also controls swelling. If you can control swelling and allow tissues to heal, you can often avoid the need for surgery. Surgery isn't a common ankle sprain treatment, but if other treatments don't work, your podiatrist might have to consider it.
Prescribe Crutches Or A Brace
If it hurts your ankle to bear your weight, the doctor might prescribe crutches so you can stay mobile. If you have difficulty using crutches, the podiatrist might recommend a knee walker or even a wheelchair. Crutches aren't always needed, especially if you're able to get around without pain.
If you have a bad ligament tear, the podiatrist might want you to wear a brace to stabilize your ankle. You might use a soft brace you can wear with a shoe, or you might be given a brace with a hard sole that you wear alone.
Take Physical Therapy
At some point in your recovery from a sprained ankle, your podiatrist might want you to participate in physical therapy. Therapy can help you heal properly and strengthen muscles that were weakened by being sedentary as you healed. By strengthening your ankle and doing stretches to keep your ankle flexible, you reduce the risk of a repeat injury when you return to your normal activities.
If you have a sprained ankle and you're not sure if you need to see a podiatrist or not, you might want to consider going to the doctor so your ankle can be evaluated and treated. It's not a good idea to always push through pain and maintain your usual activities. Sometimes you need to rest and get proper care so an injury can heal properly.