You are out jogging when you feel your ankle give way, and a throbbing pain shoots up and down your leg. Yep, it’s a sprain!
Sprained ankles are, by far, the most common injury that runners get, and, luckily, they can also be the easiest to heal, provided that you follow the right precautions and take it easy.
With that in mind, how do you heal a sprained ankle at home? Here are some easy-to-follow tips!
When you have a sprained ankle, your main goal is to stop the soreness and the swelling. So, you need to get hold of a compression pad, like those by Bearhug, which can be found at getabearhug.com. These compression wraps add the right kind of pressure to support the joint without causing soreness and also aim to reduce inflammation. If you don’t have access to compression pads, then it may be worth calling in a friend or family member to get some for you and drop them at your house.
Ice plays a key part in vasoconstriction, which, much like compression, helps to reduce the swelling that can accompany a sprain.
There is a lot to be said about having ice packs in your freezer if you are a runner, but if you don’t have access to these, a bag of frozen peas or mixed vegetables wrapped in a towel will do the trick! You should avoid applying ice to the sprained area for longer than 20 minutes per day, as this can numb the area and may cause ice burns.
Elevating the injury helps to prevent inflammation, and when it is an ankle, this is easily achieved!
You can place a cushion under your foot when you rest it on the couch or the bed, or when you are sitting down, try to place it on a table at a parallel height. This will help to keep the inflammation down and will decrease the soreness. Keep an eye on swelling, and if there is extreme bruising and swelling, seek medical advice.
The last thing you want to do when you have a sprained ankle is to take the ice off of it after a few hours and then go for a run or a jog. That kind of exercise won’t go well!
You will need to rest your sprained ankle for a minimum of 5 days. Of course, if it is too painful to walk on, then chances are you have a severe sprain, or it is broken, so a trip to the emergency room may be needed. Just try to take some time off of your workout routine and, if you jog, restart the routine by walking.
It’s worth noting that when it comes to healing a sprained ankle, you don’t need bed rest!
You should aim to put as much weight on it as you can and do some gentle exercises to help the injury recover. Remember that the ankle is an area that has a lot of other muscle groups leading to it, so you need to keep all of them limber to make sure that the whole area remains flexible.
Try to gently stretch your ankle by moving it in three directions three times a day. Try flexing the foot forward and backward and then rotating the foot to see if the muscle becomes looser. If these exercises become overly sore, then stop, and if they get worse, seek medical attention.