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An Examination of Ankle Sprains And The Treatment of Such

A new article explores why sometimes a simple ankle sprain isn’t always as simple as an one might think.  As the author points out, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association believes that ankle sprains often go untreated or treated in a manner that fails to take into account the totality of the damage.

With around 28,000 injuries to the ankle incurred around the country annually, the issue is of particular importance.  Although many of the injuries come about due to some sort of sports activity, this isn’t always the case.  And while a lot of press is given to concussions, ankle injuries actually make up about 50% of sporting injuries.

The NATA report comes to one conclusion that might be surprising to some.  When an ankle sprain occurs, the common thinking is that rest and ice should be the first step, followed by compressing the damaged area and elevating it.  But research in a controlled setting has yet to distinctly reveal the benefits of such a therapy.

The report doesn’t go so far as to suggest that such treatment be ignored completely, but people might think about getting expert advice in addition to the typical approach to an ankle sprain.  As a University of Delaware athletic trainer states, a diagnosis from a medical professional is a good idea.

He’s quick to point out, though, that he’s not taking an alarmist approach to the matter.  Indeed, not every ankle sprain should prompt a call to 911 or a visit to the emergency room.  But if an athletic trainer is available, they should perhaps be consulted to determine the extent of the injury based off of factors like pain, swelling, bruising, and the scope to which foot rotation is limited or not.

If you do go in to an emergency room or visit a doctor’s office, there’s a good chance that whoever is overseeing the injury is going to call for an X-ray.  But this just isn’t necessary unless the ankle is visibly skewed or the individual can’t even bear to put weight on it because the pain is so intense.

Instead, ice followed by wrapping and elevation is still advisable even when trials are still required to reveal the usefulness of such.  Walking exercises can start once the injury is under control.  But one has to be careful with such rehabilitation.  If a serious and painful injury has occurred, “walking it off” can do more harm than good.

Although it might seem counter-intuitive, and most injured parties probably don’t want to hear it, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs should wait until a couple days after the injury.  In the meantime, the body should be allowed to undergo its normal healing process.  Acetaminophen can be used during that time period.


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