It’s the season for getting out and being active–but all that fun may make you more susceptible to foot and ankle injuries. Here is what to do in case of a painful misstep or fall:
What is an Ankle Sprain?
First things first: a sprain refers to damage done to ligaments–the strong, flexible tissue that keeps bones in place while allowing your joints to function–when they are stretched too far beyond their normal range of motion. Of course, in day-to-day life, we sometimes use sprains to refer to other painful injuries to the foot and ankle. Some of these other injuries that may feel like sprains include fractures and breaks (injuries to the bones of the foot and ankle) and strains (injuries to the tendon or muscle from being stretched too far). All can present familiar symptoms such as soreness, pain, and swelling.
If you’ve injured your foot or ankle, the first steps are RICE.
R: Rest. Give the area a break and sit back.
I: Ice. Apply a cold compress to help ease the swelling.
C: Compression. This helps support the foot and can ease swelling.
E: Elevation. Recline and prop the injured area above the waist or heart.
Swelling should go down in a few days. If it’s a more serious injury, a doctor may immobilize the area using a splint. Severe sprains, although rare, may require surgical intervention or a cast.
If you’ve injured your foot or ankle, it’s best to seek help from a professional as soon as possible. Most sprains are easily recovered from, but certain injuries can put you at risk for permanent instability. Suffering from a foot or ankle injury? Request an appointment with our specialists today.