Ankle pain is no fun especially on a great summer vacation. And it never fails, that you sprain your ankle getting off the plane just as you start your vacation. So what's the best thing you can do? Follow the RICE principle...Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate.
After an injury, the first thing you will notice is swelling and pain. Rest will reduce the amount of swelling you have, thus improving your pain. If you are on a relaxing vacation, this should not be a problem. But otherwise, do your best to find a way to get off your foot.
Ice reduces the amount of bloodflow to the injured area which in turn reduces the amount of swelling. This ultimately improves your pain. Remember to never apply ice directly to your skin. Always protect your skin with a towel or sock to prevent frost bite.
Compression helps splint the injured ankle and control swelling. The more motion the ankle has immediately after injury the more painful it can be so applying an ACE bandage or some type of splint will improve pain, but also improve your long term recovery. Again, if you control swelling you improve your pain.
Elevation simply means getting your foot off the floor. Hip level or higher is ideal. Gravity can significantly worsen your pain from the simple fact that it makes swelling worse. Getting your foot off the floor lessens the pull of gravity on your injured ankle, thus (and you have to know what's coming by now) reduces swelling which reduces your pain.
Do I sound like a broken record? It's pretty simple. Injuries cause swelling, swelling causes pain. Control swelling, improve pain!
For more information on ankle sprains and all things foot and ankle related, visit our website at www.faant.com .