Take Good Care of Your Ankles
Tennis fans were worried when star player Serena Williams rolled her ankle during a recent match at the U.S. Open against Petra Martic. Repeated ankle sprains are common for professional tennis players but at NY Foot Health, we know that even non-athlete patients can be at risk if they don’t know the facts about preventing chronic ankle problems.
Early Treatment is Essential
If you’ve sustained an injury and suspect you may have sprained your ankle, the initial steps you take can have a big impact on the healing process. The first suggestion is to follow the RICE regimen—rest, ice, compression and elevation—until you can get in to see your podiatrist. Don’t have a podiatrist? Use our online directory to find a qualified foot doctor in your community.
The foot doctor will examine your ankle and may also order x-rays and other imaging studies. Treatment may consist of one or more of the following:
Resting and immobilizing the ankle for a period of time
Oral anti-inflammatory medications to reduce pain, inflammation and swelling
Physical therapy to retrain ligaments and strengthen supporting muscles, as well as improve balance and range of motion
Don’t cut therapy short because your ankle feels better. It takes time to regain elasticity in the ligaments and build muscle around the injured area.
An Ounce of Prevention
Of course the best way to keep your ankles healthy is to avoid a sprain in the first place. There are a number of steps you can take to prevent sprains, including:
Wearing a brace if your podiatrist prescribes one to keep your ankle stable and prevent it from turning
Avoiding running on uneven surfaces
Choosing the right shoes for the activity you will be doing—your podiatrist can make recommendations based on your unique foot structure