By Athlete's Care on June 07, 2019
In a sprain, the ligaments of the ankle have been stretched, and possible torn. Typically, you will see swelling and experience pain and soreness. While it’s a relatively minor injury most of the time, repeated or severe sprains can actually result in weakness of the joint, and joint pain that lasts long term. Proper treatment can make a big difference in healing time and efficacy.
What you do right away will make a difference, both in terms of healing, and pain management. Here’s what you can do at home – the R.I.C.E. method.
Over the counter pain medications such as ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, or acetaminophen should help with pain. The swelling and pain of a minor sprain should diminish within a couple of days.
Unless the sprain is very minor and resolves itself within 2 or 3 days, you should seek medical help. If you can’t put weight on the foot, or it swells a great deal, then you should seek treatment beyond self care. Once you’ve gotten to your Toronto physiotherapist or other health care provider, a proper diagnosis can be made. An examination of your lower leg, ankle, and foot, will reveal the tender points, and range of motion. If the sprain is severe, and there is a suspicion of extensive damage to the ligaments, an imaging scan such as an x-ray or MRI can reveal the extent of the damage, as well as rule out a bone fracture.
The treatment plan will depend on your individual situation, including your general physical condition and other factors. The goals are: to reduce pain and swelling, and restore the ligament to normal function.
How long should recovery take? Each case is different. A good rule of thumb is, if you can hop on the injured ankle with no pain or instability, you are ready to go back to your sport and other usual activities.
If you have experienced an ankle sprain, or any other condition involving your musculoskeletal system, our Toronto physiotherapists and other sports medicine specialists are waiting to help. Don’t hesitate to contact one of our Toronto clinics today, or drop by to make an appointment.