What can I do about My Sprained Ankle?
Ankle sprains occur when ligaments are stretched and as a result are damaged. In the ankle, this generally occurs with a quick change in direction while playing sport, jumping and landing on your foot awkwardly or stumbling on uneven surfaces. Depending on how you injured your foot will determine the precise ligaments or area that has been damaged.
How bad is my ankle sprain?
There is a three point classification system used to determine the severity of ligament sprains.
Grade 1 sprain: A few stretched fibres but clinical testing reveals normal range of motion when stressing the ligament.
Grade 2 sprain: A considerable tear of the ligament fibres. May show increased laxity on ligament testing but has a definite end point.
Grade 3 sprain: A complete rupture of the ligament with laxity and no end point on ligament testing.
How to treat an ankle sprain?
The initial management or during the acute stage of ankle sprains the RICE principle is followed. Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. These strategies help to limit the bleeding and subsequent swelling that would otherwise occur, restricting joint range of motion and increasing pain. These principles should be followed for up to 72hrs post injury where bleeding is still likely to occur.
Rest: Wherever possible limit the activity of the ankle and rest as much as possible. The use of crutches may also be indicated if there extreme pain when putting weight through your foot when walking.
Ice: Use immediately after injury. You can use crushed ice wrapped in a damp cloth, reusable frozen gel pack or immersion in bucket filled with ice and water. Apply the ice pack for approximately 15minutes every 1-2 hours.
Compression: Apply a firm but not constricting bandage around your ankle. Start near your toes and work your way up your ankle. Each layer of the bandage should be overlapped by a ½ every time. Finish the bandage a third of the way up your shin.
Elevation: Raise your ankle above heart level on a couple of pillows for 15minutes at a time. Elevation can be effective if used in conjunction with ice.
Watch our video on how to use an ice pack to wrap a sprained ankle
These ice packs are fantastic!
The only icepack you will need for the RICE regime no matter where your injury. Because it straps around the injured body part it provides ice and compression and you are still free to move!
Use them over and over again – great to have on hand at home to make sure you recover as fast as possible.