It happens quickly. You’re walking (or running) along and all of a sudden, you nearly take a tumble. Pain shoots up your leg from your ankle, and you know you’re in trouble.
Fortunately, an ankle sprain can heal relatively quickly. Even better news: If your ankle does need dedicated care, Samantha Childers, DPM, and Ricky Childers, DPM, can offer it from the comfort and convenience of our North Central Texas Foot & Ankle offices in Roanoke and Decatur, Texas.
Not all ankle sprains necessitate a trip to the doctor, though. To help you determine if your ankle sprain will heal on its own or if you should seek care, we built this guide.
Letting your ankle heal
In many cases, your ankle sprain will heal on its own if you give it enough time. Minor sprains generally heal in a couple of weeks, while more serious ones can take six weeks or longer.
The key here is staying off the affected ankle. Trying to walk — or even hobble — on it is only going to exacerbate the injury and slow the healing process. If you want to heal as quickly as possible, avoid putting any pressure on the sprain.
To further support your healing, you can employ the RICE method:
- Rest, as we just explained
- Ice for 15 minutes every few hours
- Compress the ankle using something like an ACE bandage
- Elevate it to minimize inflammation
If you do all of these things, you’re setting yourself up for the best chance of success. In the first few days after your sprain, staying off the ankle, keeping it elevated and compressed, and periodically icing it can go a long way.
When to come to see us
All of this said, not all ankle sprains will heal on their own. For starters, if you suspect it might be something more serious than a sprain, don’t wait to visit our team. The sooner you start treatment, the sooner you’ll heal.
If you think the sprain is relatively minor, you can try home care for a few days. Monitor the ankle. If it seems like it isn’t improving at the three-day mark, schedule an appointment with us. We can provide you with tools to support your ankle and its healing, like:
- Custom orthotics
- Medical-grade supplements
- Physical therapy
- Prescription medications
With targeted care, you should be able to get back on your feet more quickly.
If you sprained your ankle and it’s not improving at home, don’t wait to call or message one of our offices today to schedule an appointment.