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An ankle sprain is a common situation, which can be resolved at home, and usually the person recovers in 3 to 5 days, with less pain and swelling. However, when symptoms arise such as difficulty putting the foot on the ground and walking, physiotherapy is usually recommended to recover faster.
When a person twists their foot because they 'make a mistake' there can be injuries to the ankle ligaments. While milder injuries can be treated at home, injuries that show redness on the front and sides of the foot, in addition to difficulty walking, are indicative of the need for physical therapy.
Learn more about the severity of the injury and how to treat the most severe cases.
Steps to heal an ankle sprain faster
Although it is possible to treat a mild, grade 1 ankle sprain at home, the physical therapist is the most appropriate professional to evaluate the injury and indicate the best form of rehabilitation, especially when there are complications such as ligament damage.
The following steps show what you need to do to recover from an ankle dislocation at home:
- Keep the foot elevated to prevent swelling or worsening. You can lie on the bed or sofa and place a high pillow under your foot, for example.
- Apply an ice pack or frozen peas to the affected area, letting it act for 15 minutes. It is important to place a thin towel or diaper between the skin and the compress to prevent the cold from burning the skin.
- Wiggle your toes to ease recovery and reduce swelling;
- Do gentle stretches with your ankle to improve blood circulation and range of motion.
In an ankle dislocation, the parts that suffer the most are the ligaments and in the most severe cases, a bone in the leg or foot may fracture. With torn or injured ligaments, the ankle has less stability, making it difficult to walk and causing a lot of pain in the area. Therefore, in the most serious injuries, home treatment is not enough, requiring physical therapy.
How long does recovery take
The simplest injuries take up to 5 days to fully recover, but in the case of more serious injuries, with redness, swelling and difficulty walking, the recovery time can take up to about 1 month, requiring rehabilitation.