Ligament sprains and ankle strains are far more common than we imagine. They occur due to simple faux pas and can be caused by daily physical activities. Sprains are defined as partial structural damage in the fibers of a ligament. Many people can’t tell the difference between an ankle twist, dislocation and tear – a dislocation is the most severe condition as it involves a separation of the bones that may tear up the muscle tissue.
The severity of sprains depends on the severity of the injury. Sprains occur in ankles, elbows, thumbs, wrists, knees, shoulders and the neck as well. The most severe and painful sprains are the so-called third-degree sprains which require immediate medical attention. Being unable to stand and having the necessity to sit or lie down is the first symptom of a sprain. They are highly difficult to treat, with rest being the most important part of the recovery process. The area should be kept cold – the best way to do this is to wrap a few ice cubes in a cloth and keep them on the sprained area until they melt. The process needs to be repeated 3 times daily for best results.
Bandages, splints and even plaster can be used to treat a sprain. Doctors usually prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs as well in order to resolve the problem quicker. Of course, rest is important, which is why you might need crutches to walk. You should not try to do any kind of demanding physical activity during the recovery process.
Here are some exercises that will help you treat sprains or strains more quickly and reduce the pain and inflammation:
Move the ankle around in all direction in order to stretch it and improve the mobility of the joint.
Lie down on one side of your body on a mat and stretch your legs with a rubber band between the ankles. Stretch the legs as much as you can and hold the position for a few seconds before resting and repeating it again.
Rest the injured foot on a tennis ball on the ground and apply more pressure on the painful area.
Try these exercises at home, but remember – if the pain doesn’t go away shortly, you’ll need to see a doctor.