A sprained ankle can be very painful business usually a sports injury, although it is also quite common to do similar damage in everyday life. The most common type of sprain is where the ankle and foot twists inwards and damages the ligaments and tendons on the outside of the foot.
Damage to the inside of the ankle is very uncommon. Most people have this injury whilst running on uneven surfaces. You could be a cross-country runner or a footballer but the cause is usually the same.
This type of injury must be treated quickly with some basic but very effective first aid. Remember these basic principles that can be remembered with the word RICE.
- R stands for rest. The foot must be rested for 24 to 48 hours to prevent any further damage and to allow the damaged ligaments to repair.
- I stands for ice. Use a bag of ice or a frozen damp cloth and place this Directly onto the sprained joint. This will help reduce any inflammation and pain.
- C stands for compression. It is a good idea to bandage and compress the injury and swelling, but it is important not to do this so tight that it reduces blood flow. Firm but gentle is ideal.
- And finally the E stands for elevation. It is important to get comfortable and then raise the leg of the injured ankle in the air. Aim to get the foot higher than the heart and this will prevent too much blood from pumping to the injured area and causing more swelling and more pain.
If you follow these basic treatments were sprained ankle you should recover fairly quickly. However, it may be wise to visit your doctor just to check you have done no serious damage to your ligaments or bone.