Everybody will experience an ankle sprain. It's not a question of if but a question of when. Sometimes, ankle sprains happen in the most unexpected circumstances. Simply crossing the street or getting out of bed can cause an ankle sprain if you land badly.
Losing balance is the usual culprit causing the ankle to twist and damaging the ligaments. There are several causes of ankle sprain that can be avoided. Fights can lead to physical conflict. Slips and falls may result from uneven pavement or slippery floors.
Risks of Ankle Injury
Every year about 2 million individuals either sprain or fracture their ankles. Of these two, ankle sprains are more common.
Even if you're not active in sports, you're still at risk of getting ankle sprain. However, those engaging in sports are increasing their risk.
Basketball players, for example, report 45% of injuries suffered are ankle sprains. In the US alone, 2500 people sprain their ankles everyday.
First Aid For Ankle Sprain
Most physical therapist will recommend the PRICE method. This method is very effective in laying the foundation for rehabilitating ankle sprains quickly. Use the PRICE method in the first 48 to 72 hours of injuring your ankle.
P. stands for protection. You can use crutches and splints to protect the injured limb.
R stands for rest. Refrain from using the injured ankle as much as possible during the first 48 to 72 hours after the injury.
I is for ice. Icing the injured ankle can help prevent swelling and can help minimize pain. A word of caution: do not put ice directly on the sprained ankle. You can use a towel to wrap the ice. This is to prevent ice burns.
C. stands for compression. Compression is also good for removing excess fluid from the sprained ankle. Bandages can be used to compress the sprained ankle. Use wide bandages. Make sure to cover the entire foot and the lower leg.
E. stands for elevation. During the first 48 to 72 hours of the injury, you want to minimize the flow of blood to the injured limb as much as possible. Elevating the ankle above the level of the heart can help you accomplish this.
Remember that it's best to consult a health professional after injuring your ankle. Although ankle sprains are the most common ankle injury, fractures are also possible. An x-ray might be needed to make sure that there are no fractures. The PRICE method is a good first aid but does not replace the care provided by professionals.