For anyone who’s had one, you know an ankle sprain is no joke. With how much pain, swelling and suffering you have to endure, it may as well be a broken bone. Luckily, an ankle injury is usually treatable without too much interference from your doctor. And, whether you’re a serious athlete or a casual runner, any way you can aid the recovery process will get you back into your workout routine sooner.
If you’re sidelined with an ankle injury, here are a few tips for getting back on your feet.
Take it easy when you have an ankle injury.
When you’re in a really good workout groove and you’re used to being active, it can be tough to sit around and wait for your ankle injury to heal. However, getting back on the horse too soon can prolong your recovery or even make your injury worse. Rather than “working through the pain,” follow your doctor’s advice and get enough rest for your ankle to heal properly.
Ice your ankle injury.
There’s a lot of conflicting advice about when and how often to ice an injury. We’ll give it to you straight: For the first 72 hours, use ice for 20 minutes and then take a break until your skin thaws. Repeat. After three days, use ice immediately following any type of rehab or treatment as well as at the end of the day if you experience swelling.
Keep your ankle elevated.
For the first 72 hours after an injury, your ankle should be elevated above your heart as much as possible throughout the day. Failing to do so can result in excessive swelling and, as a result, more pain. You can (and should) keep your ankle elevated when you sleep, too. Just be sure to stuff pillows under your knees to provide support for the rest of your body.
Use compression socks with your ankle injury.
Along with rest, ice and elevation, compression is a key element for keeping swelling under control. Compression socks promote blood flow back to your heart by applying the greatest amount of pressure at your ankle and becoming gradually less tight further up your leg. Don’t worry – they aren’t too In fact, they’re thin and flexible enough to wear comfortably all day, even when you’re icing your ankle