Maybe you are jogging and you step off a curb wrong.
Maybe you are hiking and roll your ankle on a rock.
Maybe you are playing soccer and someone kicks your ankle trying to get the ball.
I was getting home from walking my dog, and I missed the last step down getting to my apartment. I landed wrong, heard a snap, and went down right in front of my door.
Not my most graceful moment, but I was lucky to land about 10 ft away from a couch.
I learned that sprains hurt! They hurt a lot! I’ve heard they hurt even more then breaking a bone sometimes.
Ok, what do I do? I know this…I know this, right?.. Crap, this hurts!
Taking care of the ankle itself (you can apply this to any sprain, not just the ankle):
- Get off of it!
- BREATHE! A few deep breaths will inform your brain that you are ok. It will help calm you down.
- Assess the area.
- Did it swell up right away?
- Can you touch it?
- Can you wiggle your toes and feel your heel?
- Can you put weight on it?
- You might need to get an x-ray to make sure nothing is broken, but a snap is not uncommon for a sprain. Contact your MD if you think this might be necessary.
Time for good ‘ole P.R.I.C.E.
P – protection
R – rest
I- ice (complemented with equal time of Epsom salt bath works wonders for circulation and swelling)
I also want to add an F in there somewhere for friends!
I had some good friends to, first, calm me down. Second, help me take care of myself so I can heal. It is hard to stay off your ankle when life still continues to do its thing while you are healing a sprain.
My biggest thing was getting my dog out. I could barely walk that first day, let alone get my pup out for a walk.
This is a good time to assess how well you ask for help.
A sprain never seems like a big deal, till you have one. Ligaments take a long time to heal…a long time. It really is important to help yourself get better, and if you need to ask for some help, do not think you are being a sissy. Take care of yourself so you can get back out there!
Another thing to contend with is boredom. You can’t do much or go anywhere. The third day I was thrilled to be able to walk Zim around the block.
I also want to add another P in there somewhere as well for positive attitude!
When you can’t do much and feel stagnant, you might find it easy to get antsy, agitated, depressed, etc.
Keep your chin up. Healing will happen faster with a positive attitude…really! It will.
The cycle of boredom, depression, anxiety is a depressant. All your body systems will slow down, and this does not promote healing. You want circulation of blood, lymph, and energy to keep moving.
If you can, gentle self-massage of the area is a good idea. Light movements towards the middle of your body will help keep the lymph fluid moving. Getting massage or acupuncture from professional is a good idea as well.
Make sure you have books, movies, a silly TV show, puzzles, again with the friends handy to keep you positive.
Sprains take a while, but not forever. Be nice to yourself, and if the occasion calls for it let someone take care of you. It will come back around.
Ok, so what do we have? P R I C E F P ….can anyone come up with a word out of that? Ha!