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How to treat a sprained ankle at home

An ankle sprain is a common situation that can be solved at home, and usually the person recovers within 3 to 5 days, with decreased pain and swelling. However, when symptoms such as difficulty getting your foot on the floor and walking normally, it is recommended you do physiotherapy to recover faster.

When you do an ankle sprain because you put your foot on the floor in a wrong way can lead to injuries to the ankle ligaments. While milder lesions can be treated at home, lesions that present redness in the front and side of the foot, and difficulty walking are indicative of the need for physical therapy.

How to treat a sprained ankle at home

Steps to cure an ankle sprain faster

Although it is possible to treat a mild grade 1 ankle sprain at home, a physiotherapist is the most appropriate professional to evaluate the injury and indicate the best form of rehabilitation, especially when there are complications such as ligament injury.

The following steps show what you need to do to recover from an ankle sprain at home:

  1. Keep your foot elevated to prevent swelling or the sprain getting worse. You can lie down on your bed or sofa and put a high cushion under your foot, for example.
  2. Apply an ice pack or frozen peas to the affected area, letting it act for 15 minutes. It is important to put a thin towel or diaper between the skin and the compress to prevent the cold from burning the skin.
  3. Move your toes to facilitate recovery and decrease swelling;
  4. Do mild stretches with your ankle to improve blood circulation and range of motion.

In an ankle sprain the parts that suffer most are the ligaments and in the most severe cases fracture of a leg or foot bone may occur. With torn or injured ligaments the ankle has less stability, making walking difficult and causing a lot of pain in the region. Therefore, in the most serious injuries the home treatment is not enough, and it is necessary to do physiotherapy.

How long does recovery take

The simplest injuries take up to 5 days to recover completely, but in the case of more serious injuries, with redness, swelling and difficulty walking, the recovery time can take up to about 1 month, and it is necessary to do rehabilitation.

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