A sprain is an injury that occurs to ligaments. Ligaments are the touch fibrous tissues that connect bones, and support muscles and organs. When ligaments are stressed or stretched beyond their normal capacity, they tend to get torn. This tear may take some time to rectify itself on its own.
In the interim care must be taken to expedite the healing process. The common sprains happen in the ankle, because the ankle is used to change directions when the body is in movement. Sometimes, the movement exerted may be more than normal, causing an ankle sprain. Here’s how to treat an ankle sprain.
1) Take rest. Avoid walking or running. If possible use crutches or a cane. Do not aggravate your sprained ankle by twisting or turning it, hoping it will alter itself all right. Take complete rest for at least 24 hours.
2) Apply ice on the affected area. You can take ice packs in a towel and place it over the affected area for 20 minutes at a time. Do not apply an ice pack for more than 20 minutes.
Ice helps sprain by contracting the blood vessels, which in turn reduces blood flow to the affected area. The affected area becomes numb and painless. The swelling will also reduce.
3) Fasten your ankle with bandages or wraps. Don’t make it very tight. This compression technique immobilizes your ankle, and helps to heal the ankle faster.
4) Put the ankle in an elevated position. This will reduce blood flow to the ankle. Try to keep your ankle in this position for at least two days.
5) After a couple of days, you can apply heat to your ankle. Soak a towel in warm water. Squeeze the towel to dispose of excessive water. Apply the wet towel to your ankle. Do it two to three times in a day.
6) Ibuprofen is a pain reliever. Apply it over your ankle three times a day.
7) If the pain does not subside still, contact your doctor.