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How do you treat a sprained ankle the right way?

If you’ve ever sprained your ankle, you can understand the pain and inconvenience that this type of injury can cause. Unfortunately, sprains are one of the most common ankle injuries and can occur anywhere from the workplace to the home, from the gym to just walking along a footpath.

The good news is that when you are prepared, sprained ankles can be treated with relative ease, increasing your chances of a full recovery. But as with all things first aid it’s important to know how to approach the injury and what products to use.

What is a sprained ankle and how is a sprain caused?

Put simply, a sprained ankle occurs when the ankle’s ligaments are overstretched. You can sprain your ankle just by rolling it the wrong way, for instance by walking on unstable ground or while you’re playing sports.

What are the most common symptoms of a sprained ankle?

According to the experts, ankle sprains vary quite significantly in terms of their severity, from mild twisted or rolled ankles to severe and devastating ligament ruptures and avulsion fractures.

The most common symptoms of a sprained ankle include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Tenderness to touch
  • Instability in the ankle.

Should you apply ice or heat to a sprained ankle?

A sprained ankle may seem like a minor injury but when treated incorrectly it could lead to chronic ankle pain, joint instability and other long term symptoms. If you apply the correct first aid steps post-injury your chances of re-injury decrease significantly. When presented with this kind of injury, the first question people often ask is: ice or heat for a sprained ankle? The correct answer is ice, but you need to apply it correctly.

When dealing with an ankle sprain experts advise using an ice pack for 15 to 20 minutes every two to three hours for the first 72 hours after the initial time of injury, making sure not to exceed this time frame. However, this plan of attack may not be appropriate for people with health conditions such as diabetes or vascular disease, so be sure to check with your doctor first if you’re unsure of whether this first aid treatment is right for you.

How do I wrap a sprained ankle?

It’s important to know how to wrap a sprained ankle the right way to avoid doing more damage than has already been caused.

Applying compression to the injury helps to decrease the swelling while simultaneously providing stability to your ankle, which is a necessary part of the healing process. To enhance the chance of a full recovery, it’s important to apply a compression bandage to the area as soon as a sprain occurs.

For best results, wrap the ankle with a quality elastic bandage such as our AeroForm Heavyweight Conforming variety making sure to apply firm pressure. During this stage, it’s important to be careful not to wrap too tightly as this may worsen the pain.

When you wrap your injury with an AeroForm Premium Heavy Weight Conforming Bandage you are working with a product that boasts a premium, heavyweight conforming nature which is used where extra-firm support to sprains is required.

Should you keep a sprained ankle elevated?

The first phase of healing a sprained ankle includes protecting the ankle and reducing the swelling. To do so, it’s important to elevate your ankle above the level of your heart where possible, as often as you can in the first 48 hours after the injury occurs. Gravity will help to reduce the swelling in the sprain by draining excess fluid.

What first aid essentials should I keep on hand to best treat a sprained ankle?

The bad news is that sprained ankles can occur pretty easily sometimes. The good news is that the faster you apply first aid, the better your chances are of recovering completely. To make sure you’re always prepared for mishaps that may lead to sprains, make sure you stock your home first aid kit and workplace first aid kits with AeroForm Heavyweight Conforming Bandages. Featuring a built-in bandage clip for a convenient method of fastening and a premium heavyweight conforming nature, these bandages are essential to have on hand in any home or work environment.