Sprained ankle symptoms tend to vary depending on the individual, amount of force that was applied to your ankle during your injury, and the direction your ligaments were stretched. Normally, there are three common types of symptoms: pain, swelling, and bruising.
Weakness is also commonly experienced as a side effect of more conventional treatment recommendations. This typically happens when your ankle has become stiff, due to a buildup of scar tissue within the ligaments and joint. To help prevent this, swelling should be alleviated as quickly as possible – but, more on that later.
Sprained Ankle Swelling
The excess swelling in your ankle is commonly an excess buildup of both blood and cellular fluid, which is a result of the tissue damage within your ankle. While this whole process is, in the end, beneficial, we want to make sure to get rid of this excess swelling as soon as possible.
You run a much higher risk of excess scar tissue formation when this swelling is present, which can cause stiffness, and greatly lengthen your overall recovery. An initial treatment of strategic rest, advanced icing, wrap compression and elevation techniques is very important to use as means to control your preliminary swelling.
After the first two days of your recovery, swelling reduction techniques should be introduced to begin to get rid of the excess buildup. Both self-massage and contrast therapy go great together, and work extremely well to improve circulation and get rid of your remaining swelling.
Sprained Ankle Pain
Dealing with pain can be tricky following an ankle sprain. More often than not, you may start off with light to slightly moderate pain, only to later realize that your ankle is really starting to throb and hurt. This is referred to as delayed on-set pain, and is very common following a sprained ankle.
Following the proper initial treatment techniques will be the easiest way to decrease your initial pain, as well as any delayed on-set pain that may be persisting. By first containing your initial swelling with icing, compressing, and elevating, you can then use unique reduction techniques to help get rid of the swelling, and dramatically decrease your level of pain.
As far as pain relievers go, NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), such as ibuprofen, are usually your best bet when choosing a medication to help minimize the overall pain. Ibuprofen also helps alleviate inflammation, which can – in addition – help you control your initial swelling easier.
Although, do keep in mind that it’s always best to talk to your doctor before self-prescribing and administering any type of medication.
Sprained Ankle Bruising
While bruises may not always be present, they do tend to show up in fairly moderate to severe sprains. When an area of your body goes through some type of trauma, small blood vessels can tear or rupture inside, causing blood to leak into the surrounding tissue, which forms discoloration under our skin.
This discoloration can take on many different shades of color. From blue to black, yellow to purple, the appearance will change as your body removes the excess blood under your skin and filters it out.
While bruises alone aren’t something that needs to be treated, improving blood circulation to the injured area will help your body naturally get rid of their appearance considerably quicker.
Beyond Common Ankle Sprain Symptoms
Like I mentioned above – in the swelling section – your first order of business is to apply the correct initial treatment to help alleviate pain and control your initial swelling. From there, self-massage and contrast therapy should be used to eliminate a large majority of the swelling that still remains.
Once you have your swelling down to a manageable level, range-of-motion, light stretches, and simple walking techniques should be introduced within the first week of your recovery. Following that phase, you should continue to follow through with your rehabilitation to retrain your sense of balance, improve your strength, and also stretch to help keep up your ankle’s flexibility.
I know this all sounds like almost too much to take in – that’s totally understandable. This is why we’ve chunked everything down into an easy-to-follow ankle rehab program, which you can follow along with online.
ACT: At-Home, Online Rehab Program
The ACT rehab program is the culmination of consulting with dozens of other personal trainers, in-depth study of the body, and hundreds of hours of research, backed by proven, measurable results. Included within the program is the same exact schedule of techniques, strategies and exercises that we’d be using together in-person, if we met to train one-on-one.
The program walks you through each stage and phase of your recovery, paying special attention to your initial treatment, which is one of the most important portions of your overall rehabilitation. Step-by-step instructions, as well as demonstrations, are given for each exercise, making it incredibly easy to follow along with.
If you’re tired of feeling frustrated and helpless, please get started with your free online consultation right away. Our clients are typically up and walking normally again within the same week. While your own recovery time will vary slightly – due to your unique injury – that’s a heck of a lot better than waiting six to eight weeks, possibly even longer.
During your free consultation, I’ll be introducing myself, telling you more about the science behind your injury, as well as letting you in on everything that’s included within the ACT rehab program. To get on the fast-track to a short recovery, click here to get started with your free consultation immediately.