Ankle injuries are some of the most common sports injuries people experience. While these types of injuries can sometimes be serious and require you to visit a doctor and have medical assistance, many of these injuries simply need time and a little at-home care in order to heal and get back to 100 percent.
If you sustain an ankle injury while participating in sports, here are three tips for at-home care that will help you heal faster and feel better so you can get back out there and continue playing.
Follow the R.I.C.E. Protocol
One of the first and best things you can do if and when you sustain any kind of sports injury, including an ankle injury, is to follow the R.I.C.E. protocol.
According to Dr. Nayana Ambardekar, a contributor to WebMD.com, R.I.C.E. stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. To best accomplish these things with an ankle injury, you should consider getting crutches if necessary so you can rest your ankle. Additionally, you should wrap your ankle and apply ice to the area for about 20 or 30 minutes every couple of hours for the first few days of your injury. And at all possible times during the first few days following your injury, try to keep your ankle elevated above your heart to help reduce swelling.
Manage Your Pain
Having an ankle injury can be very painful, especially if you’re not able to stay off of it as much as you should. So if you find that you’re experiencing a lot of pain and discomfort with your injury, it’s wise to know what your pain management options are.
The Mayo Clinic shares that, for most ankle injuries, simply taking over-the-counter pain medication like ibuprofen or acetaminophen will help stave off most of the pain you’ll be feeling. Keep in mind, however, that if your pain is extreme or doesn’t get better after a few days, you may want to visit a doctor to see if there’s more damage done and other options for your pain management.
Keep The Injury Protected
While you’re working hard to help your ankle heal, one of your top priorities should be to keep your injury protected from further harm.
To help you with this, Everyday Health advises that you try to spend as much time resting as possible so you don’t give yourself the chance to hit or hurt your injury more. Additionally, by wrapping your ankle or wearing some kind of brace, you can further protect it from getting any more hurt than it already is.
If you get your ankle injured while playing sports, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you take the best possible care of your injury at home.