When you sprain an ankle, conventional wisdom is to rest it for a few weeks, wrap it, elevate it daily, and ice it periodically. Most sprains will heal in time with this therapy, which is often known as RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation.) But what if you want to heal faster so you can get back to sports or work sooner? Then, you may want to see a sports injury doctor. There are a few treatments they can administer to help speed up healing from a sprained ankle.
Cold Laser Therapy
Cold laser therapy is a healing remedy that has become quite common over the past few years. Many sports medicine doctors have begun using it for everything from broken bones to torn ligaments, and it is particularly useful for soft tissue injuries, including sprains. The technique involves aiming a cool, slow laser at your ankle. The laser will penetrate the skin and help encourage an increase in circulation to the area. Since ligaments do not get a lot of circulation normally, this is one reason why they heal so slowly — and the increase of circulation that comes with cold laser therapy helps speed up that healing considerably. Your sports medicine doctor will probably recommend a few sessions, spaced a week or two apart.
It may seem counter-intuitive to stretch an ankle that is painful, but if you do it the right way, it can help keep the joint loose and encourage healing. Your sports medicine doctor will show you stretches you can do throughout the day to loosen up the ankle, keep it mobile, and help speed up the healing process. The exact stretches recommend will depend on which particular ligament you strained.
A sports medicine doctor can also prescribe NSAID medications. These are medications that alleviate both inflammation and pain. By alleviating inflammation, they can encourage your sprained ankle to heal faster. Your doctor may recommend an over-the-counter NSAID like ibuprofen, or they may prescribe you a stronger one with fewer side effects, like a COX-2 inhibitor. What's more important than the fact that this medication is prescribed to you is how often you're instructed to take it, and how long you'll be told to take it. These instructions will depend on your own health and the severity of the sprain.
A doctor can do a lot for a sprained ankle, so if you have suffered this injury, don't hesitate to seek care.
If you have additional questions, check out sites like https://www.towncenterorthopaedics.com/.