How is it treated? continued...
If you are not taking any prescription pain relievers, you may want to take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen or naproxen to reduce pain and swelling.
Proper treatment and rehabilitation (rehab) exercises are very
important for ankle sprains. If an ankle sprain does not heal right, the joint
may become unstable and may develop
chronic pain. This can make your ankle weak and more
likely to be reinjured. Before you return to sports and other activities that
put stress on your ankle, it's a good idea to wait until you can hop on your
ankle with no pain. Taping your ankle or wearing a brace during exercise can
help protect your ankle. Wearing hiking boots or other high-top, lace-up shoes
for support may also help. But use caution. Don't force your foot into a boot
if you feel a lot of pain or discomfort.
If your ankle is still
unstable after rehab, or if the ligament damage is severe, your doctor may
recommend surgery to repair the torn ligaments.
What kind of rehabilitation program should you follow?
Rehab exercises can begin soon after the injury. You can try to walk or
put weight on your foot. You may need to use crutches until you can walk without pain.
Depending on your pain, you can also begin
range-of-motion exercises while you have ice on your
ankle. These exercises are easy to do—you just trace the alphabet with your
toe. This helps the ankle move in all directions.
Ask your doctor
about other rehab. Stretching, strength training, and balance exercises may
help the ankle heal totally and may prevent further injury.