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Rolling your ankle, also known as an ankle sprain, is a common injury that can occur during physical activities, causing pain, swelling, and limited mobility. Proper care immediately after rolling your ankle is crucial to ensure effective healing and prevent further complications. In this guide, we’ll explore eight essential steps for providing the right care after rolling your ankle.
After rolling your ankle, the first step is to immediately stop any activity and rest the injured ankle. Avoid putting weight on the affected foot to prevent exacerbating the injury. Immobilize the ankle using a splint, brace, or elastic bandage to stabilize the joint and minimize movement.
Apply ice to the injured area within the first 48 hours to reduce swelling and pain. Ice helps constrict blood vessels and limit inflammation. Use an ice pack wrapped in a cloth and apply it for 15-20 minutes every 1-2 hours, making sure not to place ice directly on the skin to avoid frostbite.
Wrap the ankle with a compression bandage to provide support and minimize swelling. The bandage should be snug but not too tight to impede circulation. Compression helps control fluid accumulation and reduces the risk of further swelling.
Keep the injured ankle elevated above the level of the heart as much as possible, especially during the first 48 hours. Elevating the ankle helps minimize swelling by allowing excess fluids to drain away from the injured area.
Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help manage pain and discomfort. Consult your healthcare provider before taking any medications, especially if you have underlying medical conditions or are on other medications.
As the pain and swelling subside, start bearing weight on the injured ankle gradually. Avoid putting too much pressure on the ankle initially and use crutches if needed. Gradually increase weight-bearing over time based on your comfort level and your healthcare provider’s recommendations.
Once the acute phase has passed, gentle range of motion exercises can aid in preventing stiffness. Slowly move the ankle through its natural range of motion to maintain flexibility. Avoid forcing any movement that causes pain.
If the pain, swelling, or discomfort persists beyond a few days, or if you suspect a more severe injury such as a fracture, seek medical attention promptly. One of our orthopedic specialists at Florida OrthoCare can assess the injury, recommend appropriate treatments, and provide guidance on rehabilitation exercises to restore strength and stability to the ankle.
In conclusion, proper care after rolling your ankle is essential for effective healing and minimizing long-term complications. Following these steps, including rest, ice, compression, elevation, and pain management, along with professional evaluation at Florida OrthoCare when necessary, will help you recover efficiently and regain your ankle’s strength and mobility. Always prioritize your health and well-being, and consult with one of our orthopedic specialists for personalized advice based on the severity of your injury.
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