3 Medical Management Options for Ankle Sprains

A runner with a sprained ankleAnkle sprains are responsible for more than one million injuries in the US every year. Though most people think a sprain is a minor injury they can manage at home with various remedies, this is a wrong notion. In fact, over 40% of inadequately managed sprains cause significant musculoskeletal issues later.

Midwest Express Clinic says sprains can be adequately managed at a walk-in clinic in Schererville, Indiana. Ankle sprains are graded I-III with III being the most severe and I the mildest. And here are the various management options available for different grades of ankle sprains:

Immobilization

In the early phases of your treatment, supporting your ankle from unnecessary movements is essential. Immobilization decreases pain and enhances your speed of recovery. It is typically used for grade II and III ankle sprains. If you have a grade II sprain, your doctor will use a removable plastic device like an air stirrup-type brace or cast-boot for immobilization. Grade III sprains, on the other hand, require patients to wear a cast-brace or short leg cast for two to three weeks.

Medication

Ankle sprains typically cause considerable pain. Your doctor will recommend NSAIDs to manage this. In addition to pain relief, NSAIDs reduce the swelling of the ankle in grade I to II sprains. If you have grade III sprains, your doctor might recommend narcotic pain medication for a short time since your injury could be immensely painful.

Rehabilitation Exercises

Rehabilitation exercises are ideal to prevent stiffness in your sprained ankle, avoid future issues, and increase your ankle’s strength. Rehabilitation exercises are often necessary for grade I to III ankle sprains. Controlled movements, balance and agility training, and strengthening exercises are forms of rehabilitation exercises for sprained ankles.

Apart from the above management, rest is vital. Most sprains take four to six weeks with the above management protocols to heal. If you do not give yourself a time to heal, your injury can lead to chronic sprains since the ligaments had not adequately healed.