Featured Image Caption: Sprains Last For
A sprained ankle can force you to significantly adjust your daily activities for a time, and it can be an especially frustrating condition to deal with if you’re a naturally active person. In either case, you don’t want it to last any longer than you have to. How much time a sprain will take to heal depends on a number of conditions, but there are ways that you can expedite the process as well.
What Exactly is a Sprain?
Sprains rank among the most common orthopedic injuries, but their severity can vary significantly. That’s because a sprain is simply what happens when you twist your ankle in a way that causes damage to the ligaments. Understandably, that damage can range from very mild to severe enough that it requires medical treatment – but there are a few symptoms that appear commonly with a sprained ankle.
Most commonly, a sprain will result in swelling, bruising, and tenderness. Pain may be chronic or intermittent, but it will intensify when you put pressure on your foot. Naturally, that makes sprains especially frustrating for people who have to move around a lot. And since continued pressure can only exacerbate the issue, many sprains aren’t conditions that you can simply “walk-off”. A sprain will limit your range of movement and might even require you to stay off of it for some period of time. But that amount of time isn’t set in stone.
How Long Will it Take to Recover?
So how long does a sprain last? That depends both on the severity of the sprain and what you’re willing to do to help it heal more quickly. With mild sprains, you can expect your ankle to be fully back to normal in as little as a week but could take three times like that. For more moderate sprains that can affect your overall mobility in a relatively major way, you can expect that healing time to extend to about a month on average. But the most severe sprains can take months to heal – as long as half a year.
If you have a severe sprain, you’ll likely know it. The pain can be extreme enough to require medication, and your mobility could be limited enough to require crutches. There’s a reason for the extended healing time for sprains. Since the ligaments of your ankle don’t get a significant amount of blood flow, they take much longer than other parts of your body to heal. As a result, patience will be important.
How Can You Speed Up Recovery?
Being smart about your sprain and treating it like a serious injury can go a long way towards shortening the recovery process. The most common recommendation in the case of a pain is known as RICE: short for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. You obviously can’t employ all of those factors all the time, but taking the time to get off your ankle and let it get some rest can go a long way towards making sure that your recovery is as short and pleasant as possible.
While most sprains aren’t going to require the care of a medical professional, you should consider making an appointment with your doctor if the pain is too bad. It could signify a more serious issue. There are also a number of treatment and even preventative options that you can get over the counter. Anti-inflammatories are going to be a good choice, especially for longer periods where you can’t stay off your ankle – and they’re paired well with compression wraps for more pressure and stability. And filling out your diet with a sensible balance of health supplements can also speed up the recovery process while providing serious long term benefits as well.