Preventing and Treating Ankle Sprains

Sprained ankles are something that runners sometimes have to contend with. They are caused by a sudden twisting motion of the ankle. This causes the ligaments to tear. There are many things that can cause a sprained ankle. Running on uneven surfaces is one of these. Also stepping on a pebble or rock during a run can cause twisting of the ankle, also. There are also runners who have been tripped or stepped on another runner’s foot during a road race or running with others.
Ankle sprained also occur in runners who are sprinters. These runners’ foot strikes the ground on the outside of their foot and then it rolls inward. This can also cause severe twisting of the ankle. For these runners, you need to make sure that you are buying proper running shoes with motion control. This will help with the excessive rolling of the ankle.
When you first sprain your ankle, you should follow the RICE treatment. RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. You want to try to stay off of it for 24 hours. Apply ice to the ankle. You don’t need a fancy ice pack to do this – you can put ice into a washcloth and use it. You use only ice for 15-20 minutes at a time. For the first 24 hours, if possible, try to ice every 2-3 hours. This will help keep down the swelling.
Wrap your ankle in a bandage. You can find ankle wraps and elastic bandages at any drugstore or grocery store. Also, to help with the swelling, keep your ankle elevated – also to help keep down the swelling. If you have made all of this and your ankle is still swollen after 72 hours, you should see a doctor to make sure that it is not something more serious.
Most ankle sprained will only last for a week or two. When you go back to running, you may want to wear the elastic bandage on it for awhile – especially if you are doing a longer run. This will help keep you from re-injuring the ankle.
To keep your ankles healthy, you may also want to incorporate ankle stretching exercises into your stretching program. You will especially want to do this if you know that your ankles roll inward when you run.