Ankle sprain has grown into a most common musculoskeletal injury, for which at least 1 million people seek medical care every year.
At least 40% of ankle sprains build into the most chronic problems and need immediate care. An ankle sprain is also termed as a twisted ankle or a rolled ankle– this could occur to anyone while even doing a usual activity like walking.
In certain cases, the ankle sprain would cure by itself and doesn’t demand medical care. However, if it leads to a severe bone fracture or severe sprain, it needs treatment.
You might still be thinking about how to treat a sprained ankle at home. This blog is a comprehensive guide that lets you understand everything about a sprained ankle, its symptoms, and the 10 effective sprained ankle home remedies you can go for.
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Symptoms of a sprained ankle
Here are the symptoms that give you signs that you have a sprained ankle:
- You experience a sudden pain once the angle gets rolled or twisted
- Inconvenience to walking normally
- Tender ankles when you touch
- Very limited movement range in the ankle joints
The other major symptoms of an ankle fracture can include the following:
- Incapable of bearing weight on the affected leg;
- Pain and swelling which remains the same or increase after a day or two;
- Reduced blood circulation;
- Weak or numb feeling in the area.
If you wonder how to heal a sprained ankle at home, read further to find out the ways you can adapt to recover soon.
10 Best Home Remedies for Sprained Ankle
You can cure most ankle pain injuries right at home, however, some serious injuries need medical help. Once you identify that you have a sprained ankle, you should avoid the ankle from bearing weight since it causes broken bones and chronic injuries.
It is not easy to determine the depth and intensity of ankle sprains based on the symptoms alone. Hence you should consult a doctor first. If the doctor finds that the injury is mild, you can go for a sprained ankle treatment at home.
Let’s discuss the quickest home remedies for sprained ankle in detail:
This abbreviation is expressed as Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Doctors generally prefer the R.I.C.E. method to minimize inflammation or swelling effects in the ankle.
To let your ankle heal, you should leave it at rest. You can also wear a brace that helps to stabilize the injury. Avoid physical activities and sports that improve the risk in the injured area.
Compression helps to stabilize the injured point to minimize the extent of swelling. Wrap around the injured ankle with a bandage— remember to fit it properly, tight bandage digs deep into the skin and causes numbness or pain in the area.
Elevating sprained ankle is a great remedy to minimize joint buildups. It alleviates pain and helps to get rid of swelling. You can sleep with your ankle slightly elevated with the help of pillows— make sure they are at a level higher than your heart. Use appropriate support to elevate your ankle while you sleep or sit.
Alternating heat and ice for sprained ankle
This is an ideal home remedy for a sprained ankle that most people find great to relax the tight muscles and eliminate tension or pain. Heat enhances the blood flow in the affected area, and boosts healing.
On the contrary, you should prevent heat when the ankle swelling remains because it leads to slow healing and inflammation.
Once the swelling subsides, you can apply a heat pack for almost 15-20 minutes. The alternating treatments with heat and ice packs can also help certain people heal.
However, make sure you do this after swelling subsidizes, not right after the injury. Ice packs control blood flow to the injury and help to mitigate the problems such as pain or swelling.
Stretching your ankles well
Stretching ankles is another common foot sprain treatment at home. An ankle injury affects your muscles and the structures near the ankle are at risk of serious injury.
This is more likely if the tissues have gone weak due to age. Stretching helps your muscles to be strong and limber. It also improves blood circulation and helps the ankle in its healing process.
Gently stretch the ankle and move it across all directions, at least thrice a day. Flex your foot forward and backward, or roll it in both clockwise and anticlockwise directions.
Don’t overextend your ankle or rotate it in any direction which results in pain.
Walking short distances
The pain right after an ankle sprain can be intolerable. It can inhibit a person from bearing any weight on the ankle joint. Walking helps to heal and subside the pain. Walk short distances and then with the level of healing, you may slowly increase the distance of walking.
Walking is an amazing ankle twist remedy where you can easily let the ankle get cured through natural means. If walking makes you feel excessive pain, you could wait for 1-2 days and attempt to walk again.
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Exercise with caution
Exercise can help you to restore your strength and also prevent the weakness of your muscles in the affected part. It can also reduce the chances of getting another sprain.
An elevated sprained ankle can help you slowly regain your health. Lie on the couch and place pillows beneath your foot. Keep the foot elevated, and continue this at regular intervals, ie, 2-3 hours every day.
You may also stand with heels that hang backward on low steps. You may drop the heels a bit, and hold on to the position for quite a few seconds. Later, lift your heels above your toes. Try balancing the foot for 30 seconds and repeat this with the other leg.
Try an elastic exercise band beneath your foot to offer good resistance, and move your ankle in clockwise and anticlockwise directions.
Massage gently to relieve pain
Massage is an ideal swollen ankle remedy that helps you to alleviate pain and improve blood flow to the area of the sprain. If the injury is too painful, you may consult an expert massage therapist.
Try gentle massage at your house if the injuries are less severe. You can also massage the bottom of your feet to get relief.
Massaging on the top of or around the ankle can also let you find relief from the pain and swelling. However, remember to stop massage if it worsens the symptoms.
Physical therapy for a severe sprain
If you suffer from long-term pain after the sprain hits you, or has undergone similar kind of injuries in the past, then you choose physiotherapy.
The therapist examines your ankle and detects the weak muscles or tissues that cause your pain. They understand your lifestyle and the activities you usually engage in.
They use this data to build an exclusive exercise plan to help you come out of pain quickly.
Read more on the benefits of getting physiotherapy treatment at home.
Epsom salt for sprained ankle
This is a useful yet common home remedy for a sprained ankle. Take warm water and lace Epsom salt in it. Soak your ankle in the solution. This relaxes your sore tissues and muscles.
However, remember not to use this technique at the early stages of sprain injury since inflammation and swelling demand cold treatment methods rather than warm water.
Natural remedies for a sprained ankle
You may use natural items, for instance, the kitchen ingredients like essential oil for a sprained ankle.
Natural products such as castor oil, olive oil, garlic, or turmeric can help you to reduce swelling and inflammation that sprained ankle causes.
Warm these ingredients and apply them to the injured part directly, and wrap safely for 2-3 hours.
Check whether your shoes provide good ankle support and foot support to you. Wearing a boot can give great support for a sprained ankle.
Appropriate footwear is also essential when you engage in sports. Events like volleyball and basketball can turn dangerous if you sacrifice good footwear while playing.
Why don’t you opt for great footwear and avoid searching for a home remedy for sprained foot?
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When should you meet a doctor?
It’s advised to visit a doctor well before you try all the remedies mentioned above. When you suspect you have a sprained ankle, understand its severity with the doctor’s consultation.
A doctor can assess the depth of the sprain and advise medication for the sprained ankle.
Serious sprains need long-term treatments —when you delay medical attention, it worsens your situation.
Prepare a list of your symptoms, inform the history of medical problems you have dealt with, present the medications you already consume, and talk about the worries you have regarding the injury.
If the doctor advises rest and confirms the pain to be mild, you can go for the home remedies as mentioned.
Book an appointment for a Doctor-on-call at your home right away.
Sprains could be usual that heal on their own, or severe that take months to heal. So, you must never ignore the ankle sprain and the pain associated with it.
Timely treatment can speed up your process of recovery and avoid a second injury.
There are many home nursing providers in Dubai, who help you recover from these medical conditions. However, Lana life care stands out with licensed caregivers, physiotherapists, and nurses who focus on giving compassionate home health care services.
Lana life care also provides customized treatment plans and adheres to the guidelines of the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and WHO (World Health Organization).
In addition to the sprained ankle treatment, you also get dedicated care services such as Chronic conditions care, baby care, wound care nursing, elderly care, pregnancy care, home physiotherapy, pain management nursing, post-operative care, etc.