Ankle sprains are one of the most common types of foot injuries, as more than 25,000 Americans are felled by a sprained ankle each day. Some of these sprains are minor, while others can knock a person off their feet for weeks or months at a time. Regardless of the severity of the sprain, some swelling and bruising is common. However, this swelling and bruising can also slow down the healing process. That’s why it’s so important to work to control swelling and bruising after a sprain. We explain how to do just that in today’s blog.
Calming Swelling And Bruising In A Sprained Ankle
Here are a number of ways to safely manage a sprained ankle in the immediate aftermath to help prevent swelling and bruising from developing.
RICE – RICE is probably the best combination of things you can do for your ankle in the first 24-48 hours after the sprain. RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. In other words, after a sprain, get off your feet and rest the area. Better yet, elevate the area to help prevent against fluid accumulation in the area. Gently wrapping the area can also help to prevent against fluid build up. Icing the area has also been shown to help prevent the onset of swelling.
Anti-Inflammatory Medications – Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications can help to prevent inflammation and in turn swelling in the area. They can also prevent some mild to moderate pain relief, which will be helpful depending on the severity of your ankle sprain.
Stretching – After a couple of days, stretching can help to improve blood flow to the injured area, helping to treat bruising and improve healing. Gentle range of motion exercises will help strengthen the ligaments and bring healthy blood to the area.
Limited Weight Bearing Followed By Walking – Another way to help prevent against swelling and bruising is by striking an appropriate balance between limiting weight bearing and walking on the injured ankle. Right away, you’ll want take some stress off the area and help protect it by not walking on it. Continuing to put pressure on the area can make damage worse and lead to more swelling and bruising. However, after a while, you can do more for your ankle by walking than by staying off your feet. Once you’re to the point where you can walk without hobbling or compensating for your injury, walking can actually help speed up the recovery process. Not only can walking help reduce swelling and bruising, but it can help to strengthen the ankle and prevent against future sprains.
If you can do all of the above things, we’re confident that you’ll be able to help limit the amount of bruising or swelling you experience after an ankle sprain. We’re not saying you’ll be able to prevent it completely, but you can help your injured ankle heal much faster if you work to limit swelling and bruising. For more information, or for help treating your ankle sprain, reach out to Dr. Silverman’s office today.