A sprained ankle can be a very painful and extremely disruptive injury to have. Unfortunately, this is one of the most common types of injuries for individuals that participate in sports. Despite this being a common injury, individuals will often be unaware of the types of steps that they should take for the injury to completely heal.

Apply Ice When The Joint Shows Signs Of Swelling

Swelling is a prominent side effect of a sprain. When a person sprains an ankle, the swelling can be extremely noticeable, and the ankle may more than double in size. This swelling can be very painful while also impacting the recovery of the patient. When the ankle joint is allowed to experience prolongs swelling, it can actually cause damage to the joint. Patients can help to limit the amount of swelling that is occurring by regularly applying an ice packet to the ankle whenever they start to notice swelling. 

Consider Seeking Professional Treatment

Many people who suffer from sprained ankles may not seek professional treatment for the injury due to assuming that it will not be serious enough to warrant treatment. However, a sprained ankle can be an injury that has long-term implications for the patient. If this injury does not properly heal, the ankle can suffer permanent problems, such as being more susceptible to sprains in the future. Seeking professional treatment can help to improve the chances that the injury will heal properly as the sports medicine professionals will be in a position to thoroughly evaluate the patient's condition to determine the extent of the damage to the ankle joint. Furthermore, these professionals may be able to prescribe medications to help keep swelling and pain to a minimum.

Build Strength In The Joint Once It has Healed

Patients may be unable to participate in their sport for several weeks following the ankle injury. This is needed to allow the patient to fully heal. However, patients will still need to ease back into their activity once the ankle has healed. Otherwise, they could re-injure themselves by pushing their ankle too far without taking steps to strengthen it first. In addition to strengthening the joint, they should also work to stretch it so that it will recover much of its flexibility. A sports medicine doctor will be able to provide instructions on completing these exercises from the comfort of the patient's home. When returning to playing sports, patients should also pay attention to how their ankle feels. The first few practices after returning can be rather difficult, and patients should avoid overexerting their injured ankle.

To learn more about sports medicine injuries, contact a medical center in your area like Town Center Orthopaedic Associates, P.C.