Have you recently sprained your ankle? Without proper care, pain or instability in your ankle may turn into a chronic problem. Abingdon, MD, podiatrists Drs. Michael Block and Monica Cooney explain what you should do if you've sprained your ankle.
Don't ignore the pain
Pain is a valuable warning sign that should never be ignored. If your ankle hurts after you twist it or unexpectedly step off a curb or miss a step, continuing to walk, run or jump will only prolong your pain and may even worsen your injury. Stay off your ankle as much as possible, elevate it and take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication to reduce pain and swelling.
Wrap your ankle
Swelling occurs when your body sends white cells to your ankle to repair the damage. The only way to get white blood cells to the site of an injury is to increase blood flow. As blood rushes to your ankle, swelling begins to occur. Although swelling isn't dangerous, it can increase stiffness and make moving your ankle difficult. Wrapping your ankle with an elastic compression bandage is a simple way to reduce swelling. Ice packs will also help keep the swelling down.
Know when to make an appointment with the foot doctor
Depending on the severity of your injury, your ankle may begin to feel better in a few days. Moderate to severe sprains may cause pain and stiffness for several weeks. If you're concerned about the intensity of your pain or the duration of your symptoms, it's a good idea to make an appointment with our Abingdon office. Call us if:
- You are in severe pain. Severe pain may be caused by a sprain or a fracture. Prompt treatment will help you ensure that you receive the treatment you need for your injury.
- You're not getting better. Has it been at least two weeks since you sprained your ankle? If your symptoms don't improve after a few weeks, you may benefit from a walking cast or boot and crutches.
- You can't put any pressure on your ankle. Severe sprains may affect the stability of your joint. Although crutches, a cast, and physical therapy are usually helpful, some people do need surgery.
Do you need a little help getting back on your feet after an ankle sprain? Call Abingdon, MD, podiatrists Drs. Michael Block and Monica Cooney at (410) 569-0445 to schedule an appointment.