How to Ice an ankle Injury

How to Ice an ankle Injury?

Get the ice on quickly! Icing is most effective in the immediate period following an injury. The effect of icing diminishes significantly after about 48 hours. 

Perform an ice massage. Apply ice directly to the injury. Move the ice frequently, not allowing it to sit in one spot. 

Don't forget to elevate. Keep the injured body part elevated above the heart while icing. This will further help reduce swelling. 

Watch the clock. Ice for 15-20 minutes, but never longer. You can cause further damage to the tissues, including frostbite, by icing for too long. 

Allow time between treatments. Allow area to warm for at least 60 minutes before beginning the icing routine again. 

Repeat as desired. Ice as frequently as you wish, so long as the area is warm to touch and has normal sensation before repeating. 

Icing Tips: 

Ice Option 1 -- Traditional: Use a Ziploc bag with ice cubes or crushed ice. Add a little water to the ice bag so it will conform to your body. 

Ice Option 2 -- Best: Keep paper cups filled with water in your freezer. Peel the top of the cup away and massage the ice-cup over the injury in a circular pattern allowing the ice to melt away. 

Ice Option 3 -- Creative: Use a bag of frozen peas or corn from the frozen goods section. This option provides a reusable treatment method that is also edible. 

Prevent Frostbite: Do not allow ice to sit against the skin without a layer of protection. Either continually move the ice or use a thin towel between the ice and skin.

Treatment of a Sprained Ankle

By Jonathan Cluett, M.D.,

How To Perform Treatment of a Sprained Ankle?

Early treatment of a sprained ankle can help to speed recovery and minimize the symptoms. Here are a few simple treatment steps to follow should you sustain a sprained ankle.

Difficulty: Average, Time Required: 30 minutes 

Here's How:
Protect the sprained ankle.
This is quite simple, but amazingly common for people to forget. Don't walk on the sprained ankle, and protect it from further contact by immobilizing with a splint or brace. 

Take a few days off of your feet. You don't have to be inactive, but be sure the ankle is being rested. Possible exercises you can do include swimming and cycling. 

This can be done several times a day for 15-20 minutes. This will keep the swelling to a minimum. Do NOT ice for more than 20 minutes, it will do more damage than good. For more information about icing an injury, read on... 

This does not have to be all of the time, but particularly when your foot is not elevated it would be advisable. A simple Ace wrap is fine for light compression. 

This will also help to minimize the swelling that takes place. A few pillows under the ankle should be fine to get the leg up enough while keeping the injured limb comfortable. 

Seek professional help.
While most ankle injuries are simple and heal naturally over a short time, some injuries are more severe and can necessitate more aggressive treatment. 

Never ice for more than 20 minutes.
Many people think the more the better, but this is not true! Maximum ice time should be 20 minutes every few hours. Read on for more information about icing an injury. 

Get creative with icing your sprained ankle.
A bag of frozen corn or peas makes a great ice pack -- and it's both reusable and edible. 

Compression bandages should be snug, not tight.
If too tight, your circulation will be impaired, and the healing process slowed.

What causes ankle swelling?

By Jonathan Cluett, M.D.

What causes ankle swelling?

Swelling of the lower leg and ankle is a common problem. Determining the cause of ankle swelling is the first step to finding effective treatment. Once the cause of the ankle swelling is determined, effective treatment can be initiated.

Answer: Ankle swelling causes the accumulation of fluid within the ankle joint or in the soft tissues surrounding the ankle. Common causes of ankle swelling include: 

Traumatic Injury
A traumatic injury, such as an ankle sprain or a broken ankle, is the most common cause of ankle swelling. Patients almost always remember the particular injury, but occasionally even subtle injuries can also lead to ankle swelling. Also, stress fractures can occur around the ankle joint leading to swelling. 

Gout is due to the accumulation of uric acid crystals within the fluid of your ankle. Uric acid is a substance produced as part of digestion. In order to properly digest food and rid our body of waste, our bodies produce substances such as uric acid to transport waste material. People with gout abnormally accumulate uric acid crystals within joints, leading to inflammation and swelling. 

Ankle Arthritis
Ankle arthritis is much less common than degenerative changes in other joints. However, ankle arthritis can occur and can be quite painful. Ankle arthritis is most common in patients with rheumatoid arthritis or in patients with a previous injury to the ankle joint. 

Infection is an unusual cause of ankle swelling. Infections can either occur in the soft tissues around the ankle joint (cellulitis) or in the joint itself (septic joint). Infections can often be treated with medications alone, but may also require surgery. 

Vascular Obstruction
Numerous problems with blood flow can impair normal circulation and lead to swelling around the ankles. The most common cause of vascular obstruction is a blood clot, also known as a DVT. This type of vascular problem usually occurs in one leg (not both), and leads to swelling of the soft-tissues throughout the foot and ankle. The swelling can also extend further up the leg. 

Peripheral Edema
Peripheral edema is also a circulation problem, but is seen in both legs, not just one. Lower extremity edema can be due to aging of the veins leading to chronic swelling, as well as other conditions that can place pressure on the leg veins. These conditions include pregnancy, obesity, and varicose veins.