A sprained ankle can impact your life!
You could get your ankle sprained by tripping on the stairs or hurt it while working out in the gym. Irrespective of the reason, the result is the same and the pain is real. Ankle sprain can really disrupt the flow of your day.
Classic symptoms of a sprained ankle are redness, swelling and a hot feeling whenever you touch it. Other symptoms include pain (or muscular pain), restricted movement, bruising and lesser ability to put weight on foot. You will be surprised to know that these are all part of your body’s natural defense system. So, exactly what is going on with your sprain and why does it ache so much?
Why are sprains so painful?
When you suffer from an ankle sprain (or any other joint), your body releases a chemical called as prostaglandins. The release of this chemical is essential for causing inflammation, which helps in safeguarding the area of the injury. Inflammation is common and perfectly normal when you have a sprain. That’s how your body naturally reacts to an injury. When your ankle gets sprained, the soft tissues in your body gets damaged. At the same time, the surrounding nerves also end up becoming more sensitive to pain. So, it is highly advised that you take some pain relief while your injury heals.
Managing inflammation while you have it.
In case of minor sprained ankles and muscle strains, the P.R.I.C.E method can be used to reduce the pain:
For the first 72 hours, you should refrain from:
Heat: which includes hot baths, heat packs and saunas.
Alcohol: consumption of alcohol will lead to increase in swelling and bleeding, and reduce the healing process.
Running: or any other strenuous activity that can cause more damage.
Massage: which can lead to further bleeding and swelling
As well as misuse of P.R.I.C.E therapy to aid the healing of the injury. P.R.I.C.E stands for Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.
Protect the affected area by using support. In case of an ankle injury, it is best for you to wear shoes that enclose and support your feet, such as lace-up shoes. This protects the injured area from further damage
The body needs time to repair, so refrain from putting any extra weight on it than required. Without rest, you end up consistently straining the injured area which can lead to further injury – the need of the hour is muscular pain relief.
Ice is the best solution to reduce inflammation. It constricts the blood vessels which stops swelling and bleeding. Never apply ice directly to the surface of the skin, rather use an icepack or ice wrapped in a towel. Keeping an icepack on the injury every 20 minutes can help in relieving you from pain and also aid in reducing inflammation.
Sticking bandage to the area helps in limiting swelling and restricts movement that can cause further damage.
Keep your injured area raised to reduce swelling. It drains away blood and fluid away from the injury. The best way to make this approach work is by raising your limb slightly above the level of your heart.