The weather has perked up and you're ramping up your physical activity. You go full on beast mode at (insert activity of choice here ie crossfit, krav maga, running, or just living day to day) and your ankle took a wrong turn. You just sprained your ankle and now you're out of commission. What do you do?
I sprain my ankle a lot from all of the above reason making activity an inconvenience at times. Hurting yourself can be discouraging but don't let it stop you, there are ways to prevent injuries and deal with the aftermath. If you find that you tend to sprain your ankle more often than most people, there could be several reasons such as:
- SHOE TYPE: running shoes lose their durability overtime so it is recommended to replace them at 300-400 miles
- FOOT TYPE: the biomechanics or the shape of your foot (thanks to genetics) can make one more susceptible to ankle sprains, such as flat feet
- THE GROUND: hard surfaces like cement provide little shock absorbance so the impact of your body onto your feet and through the ground can put a toll on you
If you develop sudden pain & swelling to your ankle, start with at home therapy for relief using the acronym RICE:
Rest the affected area until you can get evaluated
Ice the area using a bag filled with ice for 15-20 minutes every hour for a few days to control the swelling. (You can make a gel pack at home by filling several ziplock bags with 2 parts water + 1 part rubbing alcohol then freeze for at least an hour. The alcohol prevents complete freezing of water making it more moldable to your ankle.) Place a towel between the bag and your skin to prevent burning your skin.
Compression also helps with swelling, using an elastic bandage like an ACE wrap
Elevate the affected ankle on a few pillows so that it is above heart level
See a podiatrist to get evaluated & further recommendations. Go to urgent care if you think you broke something & you're in a lot of pain. Go to the emergency room if you broke bone and it's sticking through your skin and/or in excruciating pain.