Why You Shouldn’t Play Through a Sprained Ankle

While being active is an essential part of keeping healthy, there are some instances where it makes sense to stay on the couch. If you’re one of the millions of Americans currently dealing with an injury you sustained playing a sport or pursuing a recreational activity, rest might be just what the doctor ordered.

That’s particularly true if you have a sprained ankle, whether you sustained your ankle injury playing a sport or simply misstepping while walking.

Fortunately, our team here at Optima Foot and Ankle can help you get the care your sprained ankle needs to heal quickly and fully. If it’s been a few days since your sprain and you’re still in pain, come visit us.

Why your ankle needs rest

If you don’t stay off your ankle, the injured tissue won’t have time to heal properly. That puts you at risk for chronic ankle instability, a condition that occurs when the ligaments that should support your ankle aren’t given ample time to repair themselves after a sprain. That means more sprains in the future — and more downtime from your sport, preferred exercise, or favorite recreational activity.

Fortunately, many ankle sprains will heal on their own within a few weeks, particularly if you follow the RICE protocol:

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compression
  • Elevation

Come visit our team at Optima Foot and Ankle so we can recommend the best healing protocol for your ankle.

Tips to avoid future ankle sprains

We know that time off waiting for your sprain to heal isn’t ideal, so we’ve rounded up some tips to help you avoid future sprains.

Make smart shoe choices

When it comes to protecting your feet and ankles, the right footwear makes a big difference. It’s also important to replace your shoes regularly to ensure proper support.

To start, look for shoes designed specifically for the sport you play or your preferred activity. Then, choose a pair that offers good support under the arch and plenty of room in the toe box.

The best shoes offer stability and improve any foot issues you may have, like high arches or flat feet. If you’re not sure which shoes are right for you, our team can make recommendations.

Warm-up before you play

When you skip your warm-up, you increase your chances of tears and strains because cold muscles have less flexibility. Stretch or jog slowly at the beginning of your activity for a few minutes.

Pace yourself

When you start a new sport or type of exercise, take your time and start slowly, gradually building up your activity level. That approach will help strengthen your muscles for your sport of choice. Also, don’t forget to rest regularly and stop what you’re doing whenever you notice pain or discomfort.

Know your risks

After your ankle sprain, you have greater chances of reinjuring yourself in the future. Fortunately, you can take steps to stabilize your ankle and avoid reinjury, including:

  • Stretching the ankle and leg
  • Choosing exercises that strengthen and stabilize your ankle
  • Working on your balance
  • Bracing or taping your ankle

Ultimately, a sprained ankle calls for rest to help it heal properly. For a care program to support your healing process and support to avoid reinjury afterward, call our team or book your appointment online today.

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