Urgent care services provide outpatient medical clinic care for a medley of minor maladies. One of the most commonly treated injuries is the ankle sprain.
They can happen to anyone at any time, even while simply walking. Most ankle sprains are an inward rolling of the ankle. Others can be more severe, but generally, an ankle sprain is treatable in your home. We'll always recommend urgent care services if your injury concerns you, but a sprain won't usually bring you to the emergency room. Here are our recommendations for taking care of a sprain at home.
RICE Above The Pain
Glossing over our mid-level medical pun, you've probably heard this acronym before, but in case it's new, RICE stands for: Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate. Treating an ankle sprain begins with not having your body weight on it. This is difficult because it's your ankle and you're used to using it without so much as a second thought.
Sprains hurt, so not resting the injured area will cause further pain and swelling, which will be increasingly unpleasant and will stall the healing process. Icing and compression are a two-fold remedy that have to do with treating swelling. Your ankle will swell, so keeping cold compression on the ankle is vital to combatting that swelling. Elevation increases the effectiveness of the previous steps by decreasing gravitational blood flow to the injured ankle. If the pain is persistent, over the counter anti-inflammatory medications may be taken as directed.
Take It Slow
The severity range of ankle sprains is wide, but once the sprain has started to heal, it's important to return to regular physical activity at a reasonable pace. You might feel better, but your ankle takes the force of your weight on a daily basis and can still be injured even if it doesn't seem so. If you're concerned about the healing process, consulting a physical therapist is a viable option. Many athletes and active patients will see a physical therapist if only to recommend PT treatments to use at home.
Listen To Your Body
In the end, your body knows best. Aches, pains, sprains, bumps, and bruises are facts of living a healthy, energetic life -- which we highly encourage. Getting hurt along the way shouldn't be more than a minor speed bump (loving these medical puns) that can be healed with ice and rest. Urgent care services are here for you along the way. Stay safe and healthy this winter!