What You Don’t Know About Your Sprained Ankle Can Hurt You!
The ankle is one of the most vulnerable parts of our body and is highly prone to mishaps. Were you aware that approximately 28,000 ankle injuries occur in the United States every day, many resulting from sports such as field hockey, volleyball, football, soccer and gymnastics? A sprained ankle is not something to disregard, and all to often people mistreat it or try to just walk it off – a real no-no.
In a recent New York Times article Jane Brody presents some advice from the experts:
Following a sprain, do not take ibuprofen, naproxen or any other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drugs right away. Better turn to acetaminophen for pain relief. According to Dr. Kaminski, athletic trainer at the University of Delaware, “It’s best to wait 48 hours before taking an NSAID because you want the normal inflammatory process to kick in and begin the healing process. Then you take the NSAID to keep the swelling from getting worse.”
Make sure to get a proper diagnosis from a professional (that includes coaches, trainers and doctors) to determine the severity of an injury. An x-ray is usually not warranted for a sprain – since damage to soft tissues like ligaments and tendons do not show up in x-rays.
The ubiquitous RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression and elevation) is still recommended as the best course of action. That means getting off your feet, propping the injured ankle and wrapping it in a compression bandage, and applying ice packs or immersing it in ice water.
The new emphasis today is on getting patients back on their feet fairly quickly, and professionals no longer advocate extended periods of rest. By doing appropriate exercises such as balance training and walking exercises – joint mobility is strengthened and enhanced.