Avoid & Treat Sprained Ankles
Ankle sprains are painful. The pain is almost unimaginable, and a sprain limits the extent to which you can effectively move around a great deal.
In truth, there are people who- by virtue of their posture, physiology, or any other factor- are much more prone to getting ankle sprains more than others. However, regardless of the activities you engage in, not paying much attention to certain things can lead to a sprained ankle.
In this article, we outline some prevention steps, as well as tips for those who want to avoid and those who want to make a swift recovery from ankle sprains.
Avoiding Ankle Sprains
Prevention is always better and cheaper than finding a cure. When it comes to ankle sprains, the following tips will keep you off the danger zone.
Use The Big Toe More When You Walk
One common trait in people who have recurrent ankle sprains is that they walk towards the side of the foot that houses the pinky toe. This means that when they walk or run, they put too much weight on this side of their feet. The next time you take a walk, try to take note of where the weight hits at the bottom of your foot.
Is the weight centered? Or is there too much of it around the pinky or big toe?
Whenever you have a foot behind you, your weight should go through the big toe as the foot rolls off the ground. When you walk on the outside of the feet, it increases the tendency of ankle sprains.
To wit, try to use your entire foot when walking consciously, and when a foot is about to roll off the ground, let the weight roll off the big toe.
Pay Attention To Your Posture
The way you walk actually plays a significant role in whether or not you are prone to getting an ankle injury. Considering that a lot of areas have uneven terrains, it is essential that you pay close attention to how you walk. You sure don’t want to roll and sprain your ankles suddenly.
Choose Your Shoes Carefully
People with weak ankles need to put this into consideration as they choose shoes. When choosing shoes, select more of high-top shoes, ankle-support shoes, and shoes with firm structures. All of these shoes will help keep your feet in the right position as you walk, reducing the propensity for ankle injuries or sprains.
Sprained Ankle Treatments
If you end up spraining your ankles, here are a few treatment options that you can work with.
Rest & Ice
Regardless of the injury, rest is something that will definitely play a vital role in recovery. After the initial healing, you can guard against stiffness by moving your ankles a bit. In the first few days after the injury, apply ice to the ankles to contain the swelling that develops. You can use a frozen bag of vegetables or an ice pack as well.
Ice should be applied every day, for 20 to 30 minutes a session. Also, make sure that the affected foot is not exposed to intense heat, and be careful not to have the ice applied directly to your skin. Once these are settled, you can then treat the affected leg for about three days after the injury.
Exercise With The Foot
The moment you’re able to stand up without experiencing pain or discomfort in the ankles, you need to strengthen it and ensure that it is completely healed. As far as exercises for ankles are concerned, two of the best choices for you are performing band exercises and swimming. As things get better, you can start using elliptical and cycling equipment. However, before jumping to the last two activities, make sure that you’re strong enough, and if possible seek clearance from a doctor.
Work On Your Stance And Posture
If you have weak ankles that are prone to rolling, you are at a higher risk of getting various types of strains that are connected to poor posture. The muscles in the toes and legs are strained to push the feet away from the ground with the use of the outer toes.
All of these areas of the feet are weak, and as such, won’t be able to withstand the weight of your body, as expected. Over time, scar tissue is formed, and they end up weakening the legs. Weakened legs, in turn, lead to posture issues that can affect the lower back and pelvis.
This is why it is vital that you correct your ankle with sprained ankle treatments. You can work with a postural trainer or a physical therapist. These professionals will assess the best way for you to control compensations and reduce the exposure that you have to further injuries.
Change Your Diet
Our diet matters a lot to our recovery, as the body needs a lot of nutrients to maintain the strength of the ligaments, joints, and muscles. Some of the meals needed for ankle treatments include:
Collagen sources: Collagen is a protein found in the body, which helps to secure the strength of the connective tissues in the body
Clean, lean protein: Protein is crucial in rebuilding and repairing stressed tissues, so it’s definitely important for your treatment. For the best results, eat 3 to 5 ounces of high-quality protein per meal.
Green, leafy veggies: A lot of greens such as spinach, broccoli, and kale are rich in vitamin K, antioxidants, and other essential minerals. These veggies will help with healing.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C will help with collagen building, so make sure to increase your intake of foods rich in Vitamin C, including vegetables and fresh fruits.
Zinc sources: Zinc will accelerate the chemical reactions that build up the body’s tissues and support the immune system. To boost your zinc intake, consume foods such as spinach, pumpkin seeds, and beef to your diet.