SPORTS INJURY MANAGEMENT

4 Steps To Treat Your Sprained Ankle

How To Treat A Sprained Ankle

As an active netball player, I’ve encountered the aforementioned injuries several times, with sprained ankles being the most common one. Today, I’ll be sharing with you some important tips on treating ankle sprains. Many might have heard of the R.I.C.E. treatment from your peers, doctors or even physiotherapists. However, whether you have heard about this treatment or not, it is important that I shed light on the importance of carrying it out as soon as possible after the injury to reduce swelling/inflammation, relieve pain and expedite healing.

Rest

R. Rest

As we all know, rest is very important once an injury has happened. This means that you will need to offload the injured ankle as much as possible. This may require the assistance of a splint or crutches to aid your movement. However, if you can bear weight on the injured ankle, make sure to only make minimal movements that will not further inflict pain or strain the injury.

Ice Pack

I. ICE

Apply ice (wrapped in an absorbent towel) onto the injured area for at least 15 minutes but make sure not to exceed 20 minutes to prevent frostbite. Ideally, this should be carried out every hour or so for the first 2-3 days. I would highly recommend getting Decathlon’s ice bag, which is super affordable as it’s anatomic design allows you to apply cold to any joint or muscle of the body such as the ankle. It also ensures the whole process is mess-free.

Ankle Strap

C. Compress

Wrap the injured part of the ankle with an elastic tape or bandage to prevent inflammation or swelling. Make sure it’s compressed tightly but not too tight to the extent that it affects the blood flow through your ankle.

Raise Ankle

E. Elevate

Whether if you are seated down or in a lying position, ensure that your injured ankle is raised to a level above your heart. For example, while watching TV on your sofa at home, you could place a couple of cushions below the ankle to prop your leg up comfortably in an elevated position. Ensure this is done similarly while sleeping at night as these 6-8 hours are crucial in terms of repair and recovery.

We hope these tips serve you well! If there is persistent pain or swelling even after carrying out the R.I.C.E. treatment, please visit a doctor (preferably a sports doctor) who can advise on the necessary actions to take to manage the ankle injury.

Parveen Nair

PARVEEN NAIR

Sport Leader, Decathlon Punggol

Early treatment of all injuries can shorten the process of recovery and getting back to playing the sport you love most. Therefore, listen to your body and learn to appreciate it by picking up on any pain signals that come about, in order to enjoy your day-to-day activities pain-free. In such circumstances, the “no pain no gain” philosophy is something we should not live by!

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