Don’t Ignore Ankle Sprains


Ankle sprains are one of the most common and painful injuries, with an estimated 30,000 or more daily occurrences for people in the U.S. alone. Unfortunately, many folks tend to minimize the amount of time they spend healing after an ankle sprain which can lead to further injury and a chronic destabilization of the ankle joint. Returning to exercise or athletic activity should be postponed until the injury has had a chance to fully heal rather than jumping back in as soon as the pain becomes tolerable.

Treat ankle sprains promptly

Immediately take the weight off the foot and use the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) to decrease swelling and pain. Even a minor ankle sprain can be very painful and debilitating. If your ankle doesn’t show signs of improvement after two or three days, you should have the injury evaluated by your foot care professional for proper treatment. It’s very important to immobilize the ankle joint so proper healing can occur. The amount of healing time will vary depending upon the severity of the injury, and can take several weeks or months.

Preventing ankle sprains

Some tips to help avoid ankle sprains include:

  • Start an exercise program slowly—Many people experience foot and ankle injuries by starting out on a new exercise program too aggressively. Always start carefully, and slowly increase the intensity of your workout as you build up strength and flexibility.
  • Wear the correct footwear—Always choose the right footwear for the activity. For example, you should not wear running shoes when playing tennis since a shoe with proper lateral support for short stops and starts is required for tennis.
  • Always warm up—Make certain to warm up and stretch your ankles, and calf muscles. One good ankle strengthening exercise is to wrap a towel around your foot and rotate your ankle against the resistance.

After the initial healing period, a program of physical therapy needs to be followed to slowly increase strength and flexibility without causing further injury.

If you have experienced an ankle injury, see your foot doctor for proper evaluation and treatment. At E.J. Nemet Podiatry in Twinsburg,  E.J. Nemet, DPM, treats a variety of foot and ankle conditions, including sports injuries, pediatric foot problems, diabetic foot complications, nerve disorders, and toenail and skin conditions. With advanced technologies and a dedicated staff, Dr. Nemet provides expert and compassionate care to patients in the Twinsburg and Beachwood areas. To contact us or to schedule an appointment, please call (234) 212-9940.