Sunday, August 14, 2011

How to "PROPERLY" treat a sprained ankle

Hello my Loves!!

My ankle's still healing because of what I did incorrectly this week, so for the sake of this blog, please do as I say NOT as I do. haha

The following information is from

"An ankle sprain is the stretching and tearing of ligaments in the ankle. It is the most common injury to the ankle and the long term consequences are a common cause of chronic ankle pain. 80% of ankle sprains are the inversion ankle sprain, in which the ankle rolls over on the outside.

There are 3 degrees of severity in an ankle sprain:

First degree ankle sprain:
- Some stretching or mild tearing of the ligament
- Little or no functional loss - the joint can still function and bear some weight (but hurts!)
- Mild pain
- Some swelling
- Some joint stiffness

Second degree ankle sprain:
- Some more severe tearing of the ligaments
- Moderate instability of the joint
- Moderate to severe pain - weightbearing is very painful
- Swelling and stiffness

Third degree ankle sprain:
- Total rupture of a ligament - there is a loss of motion
- Gross instability of the joint - joint function is lost
- Severe pain initially followed by no pain
- Severe swelling

As soon as you injure your ankle, you should immediately follow the P.R.I.C.E. procedure (Protect, Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate). This will prevent you from making your injury more severe.

1. Protect: Splint, tape, or brace to prevent further injury.

2. Rest: Rest from all activities that cause pain or limping. Use crutches/cane until you can walk without pain or limping.

3. Ice: Place a plastic bag with ice on the ankle for 15 mins, 3-5 times daily for the first 3 days. Leave the ice off at least 90 mins between applications. The latest recommendation from athletic trainers is to apply ice for the 1st 48 hours. Ice for 15 minutes. Immersion in ice water bath is best, but in a pinch ice cups or ice bags are better than nothing.

4. Compress: Wrap an elastic bandage from the toes to mid-calf, using even pressure, until swelling subsides. Loosen the wraps if your toes turn blue, feel cold, or begin to numb.

5. Elevate: Make sure to elevate the ankle above heart level.

6. Mobility Once comfortable to do so, perform ankle circles or write the alphabet with your toes to start to increase the mobility at the ankle. This can start on day 2 if comfortable. This will also help reduce swelling if done with the leg in an elevated position.

7. Stretch After an injury, the surrounding muscles often tighten up to protect it. After an ankle sprain, the calf muscles often get tight. It is important to stretch these to get your normal range of motion back. If you don't, it could lead to further injuries.

8. Strengthen: The P.R.I.C.E. protocol is simply first aid for a sprained ankle. Be certain to strengthen your injured ankle to prevent more severe injuries in the future.

9. Balance Work on improving your balance with a wobble board or cushion. Balance is often affected following an ankle sprain, and not working on improving this is a big part of the reason that ankle sprains happen again and again."

So as you can see, I did not follow any of these guidelines to treat my ankle. When I first realized I had sprained it, I decided to try & walk it off & assumed that it was okay. After dancing on it Monday night, I immediately noticed that it had gotten worse, but it was not unbearable pain. I continued to walk/limp on it to work everyday.

I rubbed Tiger Balm on it & wrapped it up before dance on Wednesday night, but Thursday morning, I realized my ankle had severely worsened. Since then, I continue to rub tiger balm on it & keep it wrapped, & I elevate it above my heart level when I'm relaxing.

I only wish that I hadn't ignored my sprain & convinced myself to not dance on it. My poor ankle! I've been so preoccupied with getting myself healed up, so I can dance again. I've fallen behind on my YouTube Channel, but I'm going to try & catch up on my day off this Tuesday. Please bear with me while I'm healing up! I miss you guys more than you know!!
Here's a few picks of my ankle wrapped up & the Tiger Balm that has quickly become my new best friend. haha

Denise Joyce