Do you have an ankle injury? Ankle injuries are extremely common. If properly treated, your ankle injury will heal well, allowing safe return to activity. Dr. Brendon McCarthy and Dr. Mark Konieczy at Fox Valley Foot Specialists in Naperville, IL, treat all types of foot and ankle ailments, including ankle injuries. Read on to learn about treatment options for ankle injuries.
1. Rest your ankle.
All ankle injuries require a period of rest. Resting your ankle will allow the healing process to begin. Rest your ankle by not walking on it. Use crutches if necessary. Avoid strenuous activities until you can walk without it causing any pain. Stop or take a break from any activity that may be causing your discomfort.
2. Elevate your ankle.
Elevate your ankle on pillows anytime you are sitting or lying down. Keep your foot elevated for a few hours per day until your ankle stops swelling. Elevating your ankle after an injury is important because it helps to reduce the amount of blood flow to the injured area. This helps to reduce the swelling, bruising, and discomfort.
3. Ice your ankle.
Ice treatment will reduce pain and swelling. Apply an ice or cold pack for 10 to 20 minutes, three or more times per day. Put an ice pack on your injured ankle for 10 minutes every 2 hours. Do not apply ice directly to the skin. Don't ice your ankle more than 20 minutes at a time to avoid frostbite.
4. Compress your ankle.
Compression, or wrapping your ankle with an elastic bandage will reduce swelling. Don't wrap your ankle too tightly, because this can make the swelling worse. Loosen the bandage if it gets too tight. Do combine rest and elevation with compression whenever possible. Talk to your Naperville podiatrist if you think you need to use a wrap for longer than 72 hours; a more serious problem may be present.
5. Stretch your ankle.
Podiatrists prescribe stretching exercises for various foot and ankle conditions. Stretching exercises are one of your best bets for easing pain. Research has shown that stretching exercises ease pain, reduce swelling, and improve function. Stretching exercises should be continued on a daily basis and before and after physical activities to prevent reinjury.
6. Take a pain reliever.
Pain medication may help reduce your pain and inflammation. Most podiatrists recommend anti-inflammatory medicines such as naproxen (Aleve) or ibuprofen (Advil). You can also take acetaminophen (Tylenol) for pain, although this medicine does not reduce inflammation. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow the instructions on the label.
7. See a podiatrist.
Podiatrists can diagnose and treat all types of ankle injuries. If you have an ankle injury, see a podiatrist for a full evaluation. Your podiatrist will diagnose your ankle injury by performing an examination of your foot and ankle. Your podiatrist may order x-rays to determine if you have a broken bone in your ankle. The sooner you seek treatment, the likelier it is that the problem won't get worse.
An ankle injury can affect your daily activities and make your life miserable. If you have an ankle injury, call Fox Valley Foot Specialists at 630-548-3900 today to schedule an appointment in Naperville, IL. Our treatments will ease your pain and help you get back to a happy and healthy life.