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How to Treat and Prevent Ankle Pain

You did it again — stumbled on the steps of the escalator at the mall. Teenagers snickered. Pain and humiliation fought for your attention. Humiliation won. Now, the morning after your mishap, the humiliation has faded, but the pain in your ankle has not. You park yourself on the sofa, weighing whether to hobble to work or stay home and catch the early morning movie. Essentially a hinge, the ankle is the meeting place of three bones and a system of ligaments, tendons, and muscles. We put so much wear and tear on our ankles that they are prone to injury, especially sprains and strains. A sprain involves damage to the ligaments, while a strain pertains to the muscle and tendons.

And if you think a sprained ankle is most likely to be a runner's problem, guess again. Sedentary folks who slip, stumble, or otherwise take a misstep may be more likely to sprain an ankle than athletic types. Prompt treatment will speed healing and reduce the risk of further injury. Twenty percent of sprains lead to chronic ankle pain. Lots of people say that it is just a sprain, and don't get treatment. Then the ligaments heal poorly, or scar tissue forms between the bones at the joint.

A sore ankle is impossible to ignore. Here are some ways that can provide you fast relief.

Serve up some RICE. We are not advancing that you appeal to Uncle Ben. RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Just follow this simple instruction. Rest your ankle for the first day or two. Ice your ankle, three to four times daily, but no longer than 20 minutes a time. And always have a towel between the ice or ice pack and your skin so that you do not get frostbite. Compress the injury by wrapping it with an elastic bandage. Elevate your ankle above the level of your heart. RICE will limit bleeding in the joint and swelling in the tissues, thereby easing the pain.

Soothe with heat. After two to three days, apply warm compresses. Try out this unusual remedy. Boil fresh grated gingerroot, then let it cool a little. Make a compress by soaking a washcloth in the warm brew. Place the compress over the injured ankle. Ginger draws out toxins and hastens healing.

Take some tablets of relief. If your ankle really hurts, consider easing the pain with an over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as ibuprofen. Follow the directions on the product label. But do not ignore lingering pain or try to cover it up with over-the-counter painkillers. You need to be aware of pain to keep from re-injuring vulnerable muscles or tendons.

About The Author:
Raymond Lee Geok Seng is one of the foremost experts in the health and fitness industry and is a writer specializing in body health, muscle development and dieting. Visit http://www.bodyfixes.com for more information.

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