An ankle sprain is one of the common sports injuries especially those that involve lateral movement such as football, basketball and soccer. Since the tendons and ligaments in the ankle are weakened after sustaining a sprain, the risk for re-injury increases with each injury. Some cases are relatively minor and only require minimal medical care so that the individual can resume his/her sport.
The RICE method (rest, ice, compression, elevation) is commonly used in managing all forms of ankle sprains. Remember that proper care can help a minor ankle sprain heal at a rapid rate.
Raising the affected foot, applying an ice pack and compression wrap can alleviate the swelling as well as the ensuing bruising. The individual should allow the affected ankle to rest so that it can heal.
If the individual with a minor ankle sprain decides to return to his/her sport, it is vital to utilize the proper support. In case the ankle sprain is minor, taping the ankle or wearing a brace can provide the adequate support needed to finish playing.
The pain might be present, but these options can provide the individual with stability needed to continue with the sport. An athletic trainer should be the one to tape the ankle if the individual is not skilled in doing so.
The individual should properly stretch out the ankle with full range of motion exercises. Even if there is minimal swelling from a minor ankle sprain, it can become rigid, thus if the individual wants to continue playing sports, the stiffness should be dealt with. The initial step is to sit on a table and draw out the alphabet using the toes as a range of motion exercise and then stretch out the Achilles tendon and calf muscles.
Isometric exercises can also be performed to strength the ankle. The individual should push on a wall with the exterior of the foot for about 30 seconds and then flip it around and push using the interior of the foot. Any form of stretching and strengthening exercise are beneficial even for a minor ankle sprain.