Sprained ankles can be very painful and may lead to joint instability if they're not treated promptly. The Center for Podiatric Medicine, with offices in River North and Schaumburg, IL, helps patients with sprained ankles recover from their injuries and get back on their feet again.
What can I do to treat my sprained ankle at home?
Staying off your ankle as much as possible is crucial to your recovery. If you continue your regular activities because you "just" have a sprain, your symptoms may worsen and it may take longer for your injury to heal. While you rest, keep your foot elevated and apply ice. Icing a sprain helps ease pain and decreases swelling.
Wrapping your ankle with a compression bandage is also important. If you don't use a bandage, your ankle is more likely to become swollen and stiff, which will affect your ability to walk easily. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication can also be used to treat pain and reduce inflammation and swelling.
What if my sprained ankle doesn't get better?
Mild sprains may improve after just a few days of home treatment, but more severe sprains may require treatment from a River North or Schaumburg foot doctor. Your podiatrist may recommend that you use a cast or walking boot and crutches to relieve pressure on your ankle. Braces or tape may also be recommended to provide extra support for the joint.
Physical therapy is often part of the sprained ankle treatment plan. During your therapy sessions, you'll be taught exercises that strengthen the muscles that support the ankle. Improving muscle strength and balance not only helps support your joint but may also reduce your risk of a future sprain.
Most people who have sprained ankles don't need surgery. If your joint is unstable, or your injury doesn't get better after treatment, surgery may be needed to repair or reconstruct the damaged ligament.
Thanks to effective treatment options, your sprain may soon become a distant memory. If you've sprained your ankle, schedule an appointment with The Center for Podiatric Medicine by calling (312) 923-1100 for the River North, IL, office; or (847) 352-1473 for the Schaumburg, IL, office.