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The Dos And Don'ts Of Caring For A Sprained Ankle

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Ankle sprains are quite common and can happen in a number of situations. Whether you sprain your ankle while playing a sport, tripping down a few stairs, or simply taking a wrong step in a pair of high heels, the fact remains that you'll want to treat the injury promptly and properly. Doing so will help to ensure the quickest recovery and avoid further complications. If you sprain your ankle, a trip to your doctor is a must, but there are some tips you can also keep in mind in the meantime.

DO Act Quickly

Don't put off treating your injured ankle, as the moments right after the injury are extremely vital. Many people make the mistake of trying to "soldier on" through the rest of their day as if nothing is wrong, but this often results in making the injury even worse and causing more pain. As soon as you're aware you have sprained your ankle, stop what you're doing and refrain from putting any more pressure on your affected ankle—even if this means asking friends to help carry you to a chair nearby or hopping on one foot to the nearest resting place.

DO Ice, Compress, and Elevate

As soon as you sprain your ankle, there's a good chance you'll notice some swelling around the area. The first step to healing a sprained ankle, then, is to reduce the swelling by applying ice to the affected area. Be sure to wrap the ice pack in a towel to avoid the risk of frostbite, and don't apply the ice for extended periods of time. To further reduce swelling, wrap your ankle in an ACE bandage or other compressor, and elevate your ankle whenever possible to ensure proper blood flow.

DON'T "Walk it Off"

Finally, never make the mistake of trying to "walk off" your ankle injury. Giving your ankle some time to rest and recover is an absolute must if you want your ankle to completely heal. Walking on your ankle after spraining it is only sure to delay the healing process and cause yourself even more pain. Also, be sure to schedule an appointment with a doctor (such as one from Advanced Foot & Ankle Center of Palatine) to ensure that your sprain is indeed a sprain and not something worse; after all, it's better to be safe than sorry. In the meantime, you may want to purchase a set of crutches or a wheelchair to help you get around.