It is never fun when you hurt your ankle. Aside from the pain, having an injury most often means you will need to rest a lot. Another thing not really fun to do. If you’ve hurt yourself, you’re probably on the internet at the moment trying to figure out the best way to heal yourself fast.
While most folks can just relax, take a week off and enjoy the healing process, athletes do not have that kind of luxury. Every day spent not practicing is a precious day wasted.
Basketball players are at a high risk of injuring themselves daily. It is a fast-paced dynamic sport that requires ultimate physical preparedness. If you ‘re not hurt at the moment and only wish to fully understand the types of injuries that basketball players suffer, read this article on Basketball injuries and prevention by UPMC Sports Medicine in Pasadena.
In this article, we will show you how to heal a sprained ankle fast. Just to be clear – do not expect miracles. You’ll still need to get some rest and let your body recuperate, but after a week of research, we share with you the best ways possible to heal a sprained ankle fast.
First of all, you’ll need to figure out what kind of injury you’ve got:
Take a look at your ankle. Is it swollen? Has it changed colors? These are the different levels of injury you can suffer. Knowing this will help you assess the situation correctly:
- Minor sprain a.k.a Grade 1 – You definitely have a swelling but it’s not prominent. A feeling of pain and stiffness is present but you can still walk. If you’re experiencing these symptoms it usually means you’ve got a slight tearing of the ligament.
- Grade 2 Injury – This one is a bit more problematic. It’s definitely harder to walk and the pain is stronger. You’ll see some bruises forming around your ankle. This means you’ve got a slightly larger ligament stretch but there’s no tearing at this point.
- Severe sprain – Known by your doctor as Grade 3 injury. The symptoms for this one hit the hardest. You can’t walk, and there’s a definite dark bruise that keeps getting bigger. We’re sorry to say, but for this one, you might need a surgery and a longer time to recover.
The most severe ankle sprain will require surgery, but for the first two there are some smart things you can do to heal a sprained ankle fast:
IcyHot medicated patch
In addition to the ice packs you’ll use right on the spot, it would be smart to get some relief patches. They last up to 8 hours and will work amazingly well to heal a sprained ankle faster. They are not a cure but the help to ease the discomfort. Some people apply it at night and swear the pain is gone by the morning.
Use those crutches
Are you for some reason opposed to using crutches as a healing method? You shouldn’t be. Having a sprained ankle requires you to rest. If you are a hyperactive person that can’t sit still, then make a smart choice for yourself and use crutches. You’ll be able to move around and rest your ankle at the same time. Make sure you give your tender ankle some time to recover.
The P.R.I.C.E. method
This is the most basic help you can give yourself. We know it doesn’t sound like much, but succeeding to accomplish this in the first days of your injury will shorten your healing process drastically. Here’s the PRICE method that helps, according to BUPA, an international health care group serving 32 million people in over 190 countries.
Protecting your ankle from further damage in the first couple hours will improve your healing process drastically. As you can see, being able to rest your ankle in the first two or three days is just as important.
We’ve all been there. The moment you realize your movement is restricted you instantly get a desire to move more. Try to keep this at a minimum.
Ice wrapped in a towel or a bag of frozen peas is something you need to do as soon as possible. The sooner the ice arrives the bigger the chances for a fast recovery.
If you’re looking for an elastic bandage or a similar way to compress the injured area, we’ve included a detailed explanation on how to find the perfect ankle brace for you.
Your guide to choosing the best ankle brace
If fast recovery is what you’re after then choose your ankle brace wisely. One thing is true about ankle braces: The more comfortable they are, the less stable they’ll be, and vice versa.
Ankle braces work by compressing the foot. Getting a brace that wraps around the ankle completely is highly recommended.
In the upper portion of the article we disccussed the different kinds of ankle injuries and graded them from 1 to 3. In the same order, we give you the ankle braces that match each grade. The following list should help you make the right decision and heal a sprained ankle fast.
- Grade 1 injuries require Ankle sleeves. They are the most comfortable and the least stable among braces. Perfect for minor injuries. They are usually made of neoprene or knitted and go great inside boots. For full recovery, give it 1 to 3 weeks.
- For Grade 2 Injuries you’ll most likely need to start with a Stirrup Ankle Brace, and then transition into either a lace-up or a hinged ankle brace. Expect to be able to get back in the game in 4-6 weeks.
- If you’re lucky enough to get a Grade 3 sprain, you’ll definitely want to look into Cam Walkers a.k.a Fracture Boots. They will provide support, and the shock absorbing soles are another added benefit in the healing process.
If you really wish to heal a sprained ankle faster, you’ll need to find the perfect size of ankle brace. If it happens to be loose or too tight it will further aggravate the injury.
In order to get the perfect Sleeve Brace you’ll need to know your ankle size. This is best achieved by using a soft tape measure. All you need to do is place around your heel and measure it!
Dos and don’ts to heal sprained ankle faster
Every person reacts differently when they get hurt. Some people choose to ignore the injury, do not take care of their foot and by doing so they prolong the healing period. Also by relying too much, too early on your healthy foot you risk straining it and hurting it as well. Here are some basic guidelines to follow immediately after you get hurt.
- Calm down, it’s not the end of the world, also breathe deeply;
- Find an ice pack ASAP, a bag of frozen peas will work as well, anything to slow down the swelling;
- Rest your foot as much as you can, any unnecessary movements at this point could mean a new injury;
- Wrap your foot to create compression, this also helps with the swelling.
- Do not apply warm or heated cloths to the area;
- Do not stretch your foot
Home remedies to heal a sprained ankle faster
Not all accidents happen in the game, some of them can happen in the garden for example. Or maybe you’ve decided to heal yourself in the comfort of your home. Here’s what you can do to cut the healing process in half:
- Pour some ice cubes inside a towel, wrap them and place the towel firmly on your ankle. Keep it there for 15-20 minutes then remove it. Repeat this every 2 hours for the first 2 days.
- The powdered Indian spice Turmeric is well-known for its anti-inflammatory and relaxing properties. Mix 2 tablespoons with some lemon or lime juice until you get a thick paste. Apply on your ankle and bandage for 5-6 hours.
- The least expected vegetable in your pantry can be a huge helper to heal a sprained ankle fast. We can “feel” the grin on your face, we share the same feeling, but it’s actually very simple. Wrap around your ankle a mixture of ground onion and ground sea salt spread over a cloth. It will draw out the toxins and reduce the inflammation.
We truly hope you found the perfect remedy for your injured ankle.
Final words of advice
Some of us that have been through such an injury understand how tiresome it can be. You’re not fully incapable of moving around. Once you do try to walk you get tired fast. The worst part is possibly hurting yourself further – we’ve been there too.
This is our final piece of advice or a Summary:
- Get plenty of rest;
- Keep your foot elevated
- Use that ice
- Do not forget the ankle braces, and crutches – help your foot any way you can.
In the end, acting as a responsible adult while you’re recovering is the best way to heal a sprained ankle fast.