A sprain is a stretch or tear of ligaments, the tough bands of tissue that connect bones to each other. Ligaments attach muscles to bones and help stabilize joints. When you sprain your ankle, the outside ankle ligaments are stretched too far. Most sprains happen when you twist your ankle in an awkward way.
A common injury for athletes, sprained ankles account for about 25% of all sports injuries. If not treated properly, a sprain can lead to long-term problems and chronic pain. Today, we will discuss how to speed up your ankle recovery using natural methods!
Learn about other common injuries by reading Do You Really Need to See a Doctor for a Broken Toe?
The RICE Method
The first step in how to heal a sprained ankle fast is to reduce the swelling. This can be done using the RICE method:
- REST: Stay off of your injured ankle as much as possible. If you must walk, use crutches or another form of support.
- ICE: Apply ice to your ankle for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day. Do not apply ice directly to your skin – wrap it in a towel first.
- COMPRESSION: Use an elastic bandage to compress your ankle and reduce swelling.
- ELEVATION: Keep your ankle elevated above heart level as much as possible to reduce swelling.
Natural Methods for Reducing Swelling and Pain
There are also some natural methods you can use to quickly heal a sprained ankle. These include:
- Arnica cream or gel – Apply this topical cream several times a day to reduce inflammation and bruising.
- Bromelain supplements – These enzymes help reduce inflammation and pain. They can be found in pineapple or you can take them in supplement form.
- Witch hazel – This astringent helps to soothe the skin, reducing inflammation and pain. It can be found in most drug stores.
Use Physical Therapy
Once the swelling has gone down, you can finally begin physical therapy to help your sprained ankle heal faster! Importance of rest when you have a sprained ankle This cannot be underestimated, but the benefits will definitely be worth it in the end. Physical therapy exercises help to improve range of motion, flexibility, and strength. Your doctor or physical therapist will design a specific exercise program for you based on your needs. These exercises should be done gradually at first and then increased as tolerated. If you follow these tips, you can speed up your ankle recovery time and get back to your normal activities as soon as possible! Stay positive and keep up with your physical therapy exercises – you will be back on your feet in no time! And for treating a sprained ankle in Marietta, talk to our team!