Have you been through a situation where you are only taking a simple walk along the road when all of a sudden you hit your leg on something and experience a sharp turn on your ankle? At first, your ankle feels numb, later the resulting pain becomes so unbearable that it becomes really difficult to continue the journey. This simple scenario shows that ankle pain can happen to anyone.
Ankle pain can get so bad that the sufferer finds it difficult to walk around with the affected legs. The effect of ankle pain is not limited to the ankle alone, it could lead to body discomfort and flexibility. In a review by the National University of Health Sciences (NUHS), it was explained that one of the major causes of ankle pain is a sprain. Ankle sprain accounts for 85% of the numerous cases of ankle pain we have around us.
A sprain occurs when the ligament connecting the bones in the ankle wear or tear. Most of the ankle sprain is a lateral sprain. This refers to a situation whereby you accidentally roll your foot, causing your outside ankle to twist toward the ground. This action does not only stretches the ligaments but also damages the cartilages or tendons of the ankle. Sprain ankle often swells and bruising for up to two weeks. However, irrespective of the type of ankle pain, there are some home remedies that can be used. Below are seven home remedies for ankle pain
Try the RICE method
RICE is an acronym for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.
- Rest: over stressing a sprained ankle would further aggravate the situation. Therefore, whenever you have ankle pain, ensure you rest the ankle as much as possible. Avoid overstressing your ankle by forcing it to do things that it would have done without the pain. Move the affected leg as little as possible but do not over rest it to avoid stiffness. If you find it difficult to move the leg, use a cane or crutches to support your body weight.
- Ice: an ice bag wrapped around a sprained ankle can help to reduce pain and inflammation. While resting your legs, wrap a bag of ice around it. Do this frequently at every 3 to 4 hours. Ice helps to relieve tension in the affected leg and promote blood and energy flow. Wrap the leg with an ice bag for at least 20 minutes.
- Compression: compression is another great home remedy for the treatment of ankle pain. Compression simply means that you wrap the affected leg with either an elastic bandage or an ACE bandage. However, when using any of the two compression methods, avoid wrapping your legs so tightly that your toes turn blue or your legs become numb. Compression helps to ease the flow of energy in the affected ankle and reduce pain.
- Elevation: Elevation simply means that you raise your legs above your heart while supporting it with either a pillow or any kind of soft support. Elevating the legs is effective because it helps to reduce blood flow and increase energy flow in the affected area. Also, elevation helps to avoid pain and inflammation in the ankle.
Try Natural Poultices
Natural poultices are a variety of anti-inflammatory remedies that can easily be gotten in our kitchen. If you don’t have an already made poultices, you can easily use any of these available home poultices: turmeric oil, garlic oil, olive oil or castor oil. Apply any of these oils to the affected area at least twice a day. When you do this consistently for one week, you would start experiencing an improvement in pain and inflammation.
For effective results, you can heat up the oil for a few minutes before applying it to the affected area. After this, wrap the ankle with an Elastic bandage or ACE.
Another great remedy for ankle pain is Epsom salt. But before you settle for Epsom salt, ensure you have treated the leg with ice or cold wrap. If after the cold treatment, the pain still persists, you can soak some Epsom salt in a bowl of hot water and then soak the affected ankle inside the water. Allow this to stay for some minute. Do this medication at least twice in the day, preferably in the morning and in the evening. Epsom salt helps to soothe ankle pain and the connecting tissues in the joint of the affected legs. The treatment can be used alongside hot baths.
Cold Compression Therapy
If you are interested in taking the RICE treatment to the next level, you can do a cold compression therapy by renting a cold therapy system for home use. The cold compression therapy is used the same way the RICE therapy is used. The only difference is that cold compression involves the use of some modern technology. Instead of using an ice bag as is the case with RICE therapy, Cold Compression makes use of a body-conforming wrap with integrated chambers that allows cold water and pressurized air to flow through the wrap. Since the water has been modified in such a way that it is circulating continuously, it maintains a balanced temperature throughout the therapy.
The sound made by the pressurized air is similar to the muscles’ natural squeeze and release contraction. This helps to reduce pain and inflammation in the ankle.
Cold Compression therapy is not only very effective but the result is long-lasting. With this method, the ankle gets healed quicker and faster. The machine is very easy to use as all you have to do is add ice to the water in the reservoir, apply the wrap and rest with your leg elevated while the machine does its work.
Cold Compression therapy is often used for a severe case of ankle pain. The machine is built in such a way that it comprises all the steps contained in the RICE method. If after using all the methods explained and the pain still persists, try the Cold Compression therapy or consult a doctor.