Sprained ankles are some of the most common foot injuries treated by Dr. Alex Yanovskiy of Illinois Foot & Ankle Clinic. They occur when the ankle rolls out or in suddenly. Such abrupt movements have the potential to move the ankle joint out of place. An inward ankle roll is known as an eversion sprain and it usually affects the tendons and the ligaments in the ankle’s inner part. These are the tendon that supports the arches of the feet. An outward ankle roll is also known as an inversion sprain, and it usually affects the ligaments in the outside of the ankle. Although ankle sprains can be quite painful and debilitating, they can be treated and managed in a number of ways. Below are some of the ways in which an ankle sprain can be managed.

Diagnosing an Ankle Sprain

The first and perhaps the most important thing to do when it comes to managing an ankle sprain has to do with diagnosis. This is because diagnosis is going to inform what treatment will be most suitable for you. Diagnosis may just involve a physical exam. At this stage, your doctor will move your foot to determine its range of motion in order to understand the positions that tend to cause significant discomfort. If the injury seems severe, the doctor may recommend imaging tests such as X-ray, MRI, Ultrasound, or CT scan to be certain.

Treating an Ankle Spain

The right treatment for an ankle sprain usually depends on the severity of the injury. Generally, the goals of treatment are to minimize swelling and pain, promote healing, and restore function. Some of the common treatments include:

Self-care

In less severe cases, you can treat ankle sprain issues with this approach:

  • Resting: just avoid the activities that tend to aggravate swelling and pain
  • Ice: Apply an ice pack for about 20 minutes after every three hours during the day
  • Compression: Compress the area with an elastic bandage until the swelling stops
  • Elevation: Elevate the affected foot above the level of the heart to minimize swelling

Medication

In less severe cases, over the counter pain medication are adequate to offer relief. If they fail, you can contact your doctor for more powerful pain relievers.

Physical Therapy

Once the swelling and the pain have reduced, the next step is to try to restore function. For you to do this without hurting yourself again, you can seek the assistance of a physical therapist. In addition to restoring function to the ankle, your therapist can help you to learn how you should walk and exercise to avoid future ankle sprains.

The Bottom Line

Overall, it is apparent that ankle sprains can be quite painful and debilitating. The good news is that they are easy to manage and treat. In some cases, you may not even have to visit the hospital. However, in more severe cases, you may have to visit a podiatrist for more advanced diagnosis and treatment options. If you are looking for a reliable podiatrist to help you with managing an ankle sprain in Des Plaines, IL, Illinois Foot & Ankle Clinic is an excellent facility to consider. Feel free to contact them today for more information about the services that they offer.

Cite this article as:
Editorial Staff, "Tips for Managing Sprained Ankle," in Medicalopedia, January 29, 2020, [Permalink: https://www.medicalopedia.org/8288/tips-for-managing-sprained-ankle/].