What to do IMMEDIATELY if you sprain your ankle. And it is NOT RICE

Everyone has sprained their ankle at one time or another.  It is not uncommon and there are several different levels of sprains that can happen but each one should be handled the same way.  If you google ankle sprain you will find that the first thing you should do is RICE, rest, ice compression and elevation.  Which is not wrong but there is more that needs to be done for the ankle sprain to heal.

Many times, following a sprain there are air casts and crutches that I see people walking with.  And instead of solving the problem and making the ankle feel better, you are causing your body and ankle more problems.  Unless there is a tear or a break or fracture, you should never use an air cast and crutches.

Following a sprain, you want to get weight on your ankle as soon as possible.  It is important that even though it is very painful, that you put weight on it and start to walk normally.  There are exercises and things that you need to do to help you walk normally as soon as possible.  Hobbling and limping is not good and can cause a lot of problems in other places than just your ankle.

I promise you these are going to hurt, and I know that\’s horrible to say and nobody wants to hear that, but this is going to one help you recover 100 times faster.  This is also going to allow you to recover in a manner that’s going to not cause compensation or further issues down the road.

The first thing to do is to get your foot flat. After you sprain your ankle putting your foot flat on the floor is a challenging.  Stand at a counter just in case you need to support your weight as you put your foot flat.  Then as your foot goes flat you want to put weight on it.  Just a little bit of weight to start and then shift off it, then shift back onto it adding more weight if you can.  Then eventually you want to put all your weight on it and do a single leg stand.  You can see this if you watch the video below.

The next thing you\’re going to want to do is to simulate walking.  Start with the ankle that is injured stepping behind the ankle that is healthy.  Again, you can see this in the video.  Then you are going to try to put all your weight on the back foot and then lift your heel off the ground and come up on your toes.  Again, you may want to do this standing in front of the counter in case you are not able to put all your weigh on the injured ankle.  You want to do this for about 5 to ten minutes, several times throughout the day to get back to walking without hobbling.

The final exercise and this may take a day or two to be able to do is put your feet next to each other and then raise up on your toes.  You want to put as much weight as you can on the ankle that is hurt.  Once you can put equal weight on each leg then you can start putting more weight on the bad ankle.  And then eventually you can do the heel lifts only on the bad leg.

It is important that you do everything you can to walk normally.  You must walk slow so you do not have to limp or walk on our tip toes.  It is important to walk normally as soon as possible.  This will limit the damage to other joints beside the ankle.  The longer you stay on crutches the more muscle you lose and the more problems that occur.

The more you do these exercises right when it happens the quicker you will be back to walking normally.  Of course, you do want to RICE but the more you\’re able to do these exercises the better.  The sooner you get back to walking normally the better off for all your joints.

If you suffer from an ankle sprain in North Wales or an ankle sprain in Hatfield or an ankle sprain in Harleysville call 215-997-9898 to get a free consultation to have your ankle pain looked at.

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