What should I do if I twist my ankle while exercising or have a swollen foot from running? This is a common sports injury and proper management during the acute phase is crucial.

A sprained ankle not only makes it difficult to walk, but it can also affect your ability to participate in other sports. Therefore, it’s essential to recover properly after an injury. But what exactly is an ankle sprain?

What exactly is an ankle sprain?

The ankle is composed of many bones, and ligaments connect these bones to maintain the ankle’s stability. The picture below shows two ligaments that are easily injured in ankle sprains, especially on the outside of the ankle.

What are the symptoms of an ankle sprain?

Usually, after an ankle sprain, you may experience pain, followed by inflammation of the injured ligaments, causing redness, swelling, and heat.

SOP for Acute Ankle Sprain Management:

When an ankle sprain first occurs, you can follow the principle of PEACE to deal with it:

P: Protect

For the first one to three days after the sprain, reduce the weight on the injured foot and limit the range of motion of the ankle to reduce bleeding in the injured area and avoid re-tensioning the torn ligaments. It’s recommended to wear sneakers or wrapped shoes to avoid ankle instability.

E: Elevate

Elevate the sprained foot above the heart to increase the return flow and prevent excessive ankle swelling.

A: Avoid anti-inflammatory modalities

The inflammatory response attracts many cells that allow the ligament to heal, so inflammation is a necessary part of the healing process.

C: Compress

Compression can be applied to the ankle using an intramuscular patch, an elastic bandage, or an ankle brace to limit swelling and bleeding in the injured area.

E: Educate

Seek advice from your doctor or therapist, take the initiative to understand the current situation and the severity of the injury, and communicate the expected recovery conditions and time required.

What else should you be aware of with a sprained ankle?

An ankle sprain is a tear in the ligament, and if it’s severely stretched, the entire ligament can break, or it can even cause a fracture of the bone to which the ligament is attached.

The first physiotherapist of the Nuli team, Jaime, is now online! If you like her articles, please refer to her Instagram account.

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