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853 Jefferson Ave
Washington, PA 15301
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By contactus
January 16, 2012
Category: Uncategorized
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Ankle sprains, or twisting/rolling your ankle, are very common injuries encountered in our population, due to a wrong step on uneven surfaces such as curbs, potholes, rocks, or an injury related to sports. This, and many other acute injuries like it that we have talked about in the past, will likely lead to swelling and inflammation. The first step in treatment should be as immediate as possible, and that first step is RICE**: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation.

                       

As soon as you are able, an ice pack or bag of ice should be applied to the area (with a layer of cloth between your skin and the ice to prevent cold injury to the skin) and held in place with an Ace wrap or elastic bandage to provide compression. These steps help decrease the swelling and internal damage occurring as part of the body’s natural response to the injury. The body part should be elevated higher than your heart to help promote drainage away from the swollen area. This can be done easily by propping your leg on a pile of pillows in bed. The ice should be applied for 20 min on/20 min off as much as you can for the first 48 hours after the injury. Even when not icing, you should provide compression to the area, especially if walking around for an extended period of time. The “rest” part of this treatment, perhaps the most important, means keeping weight-bearing activity to a minimum for the first couple of days, and slowly getting back to normal daily activities as tolerated.

It is very important to make sure your strength and stability have returned before attempting physical activities, as many of these injuries, especially sprained ankles, are common to reoccur due to weakened ligaments leading to instability of your joint.

If you are still experiencing pain, weakness, or instability after about a week, or if you are concerned about the severity of the injury right away, it may be necessary to schedule an appointment with me to further evaluate the injury and provide more treatment options.

**The RICE method of treatment may also be used as first-line treatment for any type of muscle, tendon, or ligament injury where there is pain and swelling involved.

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