How to Heal a New Ankle Sprain
What to do FIRST
Immediately after a sprained ankle, you will see and feel swelling and pain / stiffness around the entire ankle. It may be difficult or even impossible to walk on it. But, after a few more hours, it will swell even more and you may start to see bruising, while it it becomes even more stiff and painful.
The first thing you should do is find out what kind of injury you have… in other words, is it just an ankle sprain or do you have a fracture? If it’s just an ankle sprain, is it fairly mild (like a grade 1 sprain) or is it severe (like a grade 3 sprain)? Are you able to walk on it at all or is it pretty minor? Is it a high ankle sprain or a more everyday inversion ankle sprain?
It is absolutely imperative to find out what kind of injury you have, because that will help you on your road to a full recovery. Now, if it’s just an ankle sprain, you can begin a rehab program like HEM immediately. But, if it’s a fracture, you will want to immobilize the ankle until the fracture heals.
In other words, a fracture needs almost complete rest to make sure it sets and heals correctly. But, if it’s just ligament damage (a sprained ankle), then the sooner you begin a great proactive rehab program, the better.
The only way you will now this for sure is if you get an x-ray. Now, even though this may sound like a big deal, it’s really not. And it will give you vitally important information, because if you have a fracture and don’t know it and then proceed to move on your ankle too much, it will never heal properly. Obviously, a fracture is a serious injury and common sense will give you some insight about your injury, but if you have any doubts, we always recommend getting an x-ray to be sure.
What NOT to do FIRST
This is such a common myth, but we still hear it all the time… Many people mistakenly think that the first thing they should do is ice their ankle. But, studies have consistently shown that ice does NOTHING to heal your ankle and can actually cause a great deal of harm.
The only real benefit of ice is mild, short term pain relief, because it stops the communication between nerves and muscle, which makes the area go numb. But, it does not reduce inflammation and in fact, can actually cause a ton of damage.
For example, ice not only stops the flow of lymphatic drainage, it can actually reverse the flow of waste BACK INTO YOUR INJURY. And that’s just the beginning of how ice can cause your healing process to slow down and even stop in its tracks. If you want to read the studies, check out this article on ice… (click here >>)
Rehab is the Answer
So, let’s assume you do NOT have a fracture, but some kind of ankle sprain (grade 1-3 or a high or inversion ankle sprain, etc…). Now, that you’ve figure out what’s going on in your ankle and you have avoided the pitfall of icing and waiting for your ankle to try and heal on it’s own (it won’t!), you are ready for step 2…
What you need is a high quality ankle rehab program that removes the waster and swelling quickly, while also promoting healthy blood flow to increase the circulation of healthy immune cells into the ankle. These powerful immune cells (called Macrophages) will eat up the debris and swelling and then regenerate healthy tissue. (FYI, ice also stops the flow of Macrophages)…
Again, the sooner you start a good ankle rehab program, the better. You don’t want scar tissue to develop and weakness and instability can become a long term concern if not dealt with properly. In other words, without a good rehab program, your ankle will stay weak and unstable, which usually leads to more injuries in the ankle and possibly the knees, hips and even low back. It also leads to significantly impaired performance with very limiting equipment like ankle braces, tape, etc…
Remember, if you hurt your ankle and it does not heal properly, then it will change how you walk, move and run. And that will affect every joint above the ankle. So, it’s really, really important to heal your ankle quickly, safely and fully, so it can move naturally. This will IMPROVE your overall movement and performance, while protecting your ankles and other joints.
Overall, a good ankle rehab program should NOT take more than 20-30 minutes a day. You can go see a great physical therapist or try HEM, our at home ankle rehab program that has helped over 100,000 people heal new and old ankle injuries safely and quickly…
HEM Ankle Rehab is a complete ankle healing system that works for any new ankle sprain as well as all other types of ankle, foot and calf injuries. We designed HEM to ensure it is safe and easy to do for people of all ages and activity levels. HEM ensures you will be able to move pain free while also significantly reducing the risk of future injury.
You can do HEM at home, without any equipment and it only takes a few minutes a day. Just follow along with the easy step by step videos or ebook (you get both) on any device.
We spent years developing this program to make sure it works safely, quickly and fully for any type of sprained ankle, including brand new ankle sprains. If you have a new sprain, please give it a try or go see an excellent physical therapist, so you can avoid the pitfalls that so many other people have had to endure, because of myths and bad information.