Ankle sprains are a very common type of injury; it has been estimated that thousands of people sprain their ankles every day. A sprain occur when ligaments, which are the thick bands of tissue that support the joints in your body, have to stretch beyond their normal range of movement and become injured.
The initial symptoms of a sprained ankle include pain and swelling around the ankle joint. If you suspect you have a sprained ankle, make sure you go to the doctor. In many cases, your doctor will order additional tests in order to ensure an accurate diagnosis and assess the severity of your sprain. The sprained ankle treatment you will need to follow will be determined based on the location and severity of the injury.
In most cases, sprained ankle treatment is divided into three phases:
Phase one: this is the acute phase of the injury. The goal of the treatment during this period will be to minimise pain and swelling, and to give your injured tissues time to heal. Throughout this phase, your sprained ankle treatment will follow the mnemonic R.I.C.E, which means rest, ice, compression, and elevation. You might have to use a cast or walking boot to make sure your joint stays immobile for a few days.
Phase two: this phase usually lasts one to two weeks, and it is also called the recovery phase. During this period, the aim will still be to protect your ligaments but you will start to perform simple therapeutic exercises. This will allow you to start regaining your usual strength, balance, and range of motion. Make sure not to overexert yourself during this phase, since putting too much strain on your tissues could lead to a new injury.
Phase three: this is the rehabilitation phase. By this time, your tissues have fully healed and you will be performing a wide variety of rehabilitation exercises to regain your previous strength and level of activity. The length of this period is very variable and will depend on the severity of your injury; it could take you anywhere from a few weeks to several months to achieve the goals for your sprained ankle treatment.
The prognosis after a sprained ankle is generally very favorable, but this will depend on how closely you adhere to your sprained ankle treatment. Sprained ankles that aren’t properly diagnosed and treated have a much higher probability of turning into chronic injuries that affect the stability of your joint permanently.
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