So you’ve suffered a sprain, stretching or tearing the ligaments that hold your bones together. When the ligaments in your ankle and foot are healthy and strong, your foot, ankle, and leg are fluid and stable.
When you turn, twist, or roll over your ankle and sprain the ligaments, however, you create instability in your ankle and foot bones. Instability in your foot and ankle affects the way you walk and can throw your entire body out of alignment.
Though sprained ankles are common — about 1.5 million people in the U.S. sprain their ankles at least once (especially if they play sports) — they shouldn’t be ignored. The physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists at Choice Pain & Rehabilitation Center can help you heal your sprained ankle to keep your foot and body stable and reduce the chances of developing another sprain, or even ankle arthritis. We have several convenient locations in Maryland, including in Lanham, Gaithersburg, Dundalk, and Pikesville.
Follow the RICE protocol
When you have a sprained ankle, don’t ignore the pain to get through your day. Mild sprains may resolve by following the RICE protocol for a day or two:
- REST your ankle
- ICE the painful, swollen areas for 10 minutes per hour several times a day
- COMPRESS your ankle with an elastic wrap or ankle brace
- ELEVATE your ankle above your heart to allow swelling to diminish
You can control pain and inflammation that’s not alleviated by RICE with over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. If your ankle doesn’t feel better in a day or two, come to Choice Pain & Rehabilitation Center for evaluation and treatment. Sprained ankles can take months to heal, especially if you don’t get treatment.
Stabilize your ankle
Even after your sprain has healed, your ligaments may be susceptible to reinjury. Our specialists can show you how to bandage or tape your ankle to make it more stable when you walk, run, or play sports. We may also recommend an ankle brace.
If you have a moderate to severe sprain, you may need to use crutches or a cane while your ligaments heal. Our physical therapists show you how to use assistive devices so you can continue your daily routine while keeping your ankle safe.
Support your foot
A tendency toward ankle sprains may start with misaligned foot bones or fallen arches. If you are afflicted with either, our team may suggest custom-designed orthotics to wear in your shoes. Custom orthotics realign your foot bones and give you arch support so that your gait is centered and balanced.
Custom orthotics are especially important if you’re a runner or play sports. When your feet are aligned and supported, your ankles are less likely to twist, rotate, or turn in a way that sprains ligaments again.
Heal your injury
At Choice Pain & Rehabilitation Center, our physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists take time to diagnose your ankle pain and sprain with a comprehensive examination as well as imaging studies such as X-rays, if necessary. We also test the flexibility and range of motion of your ankle and foot to determine whether functional issues contribute to your pain and increase your risk for a sprained ankle. We then design a customized treatment plan that could include:
- Physical therapy to build strength and flexibility
- Joint injections to relieve pain and inflammation
- Acupuncture treatments to heal your tendons and surrounding tissue
If you have a sprained ankle or foot pain, contact our specialists at Choice Pain & Rehabilitation Center by phone or use our convenient online booking tool.