An ankle sprain often happens unexpectedly. It can be tempting to continue walking after careless rolling your foot over, but putting more stress and pressure on an injured ankle joint is just going to increase the damage. Take as much weight off the injured foot as possible until you can lie down and raise the foot and complete the RICE protocol (Rest, Icing, Compression, Elevation).

Even minimally-sprained ankles can be very painful, so be sure to allow the swelling and pain to subside so you can get a better idea of the extent of the injury. If swelling doesn’t begin to go down after a few hours, you may have a severe injury requiring the assistance of your foot doctor. Prompt and proper treatment of ankle sprains is essential to avoiding another injury and preventing chronic ankle instability.

3 tips to help avoid ankle sprains include the following:

1)    Wear properly fitted shoes—Always choose the right footwear for the activity. For example, you should not wear running shoes when playing tennis since a shoe with proper lateral support for short stops and starts is required for tennis.

2)    Start a new exercise program slowly—Many people experience foot and ankle injuries by starting out on a new exercise program too aggressively. Always start carefully, and slowly increase the intensity of your workout as you build up strength and flexibility.

3)    Do proper warm-up and cool down—Make certain to warm up and stretch your ankles, and calf muscles. One good ankle strengthening exercise is to wrap a towel around your foot and rotate your ankle against the resistance.

After the initial healing period has been completed, you will need to slowly increase the strength and flexibility of the ankle with a program of physical therapy.

If you have experienced an ankle sprain or other foot or ankle injury, see your foot doctor for the proper evaluation and treatment. Dr. Scott Nelson of Foot and Ankle Medical Clinic in Garland, TX (county of Dallas) is a board-certified and highly experienced podiatrist who has helped people suffering from all types of foot and ankle injuries and deformities. From bunions to diabetic foot problems, sports injuries and fungal nails, you can trust that Dr. Nelson and his staff are wholeheartedly devoted to your foot health. Please contact our office with any questions you may have or to schedule an appointment by calling 972-414-9800.

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