Updated: Sep 17, 2021
Ankles are made up of multiple bones, these joints allow multidirectional movements of the foot; therefore, it is important to seek medical advice when you injure your ankle.
The right treatment can prevent pain and swelling from worsening or becoming a long-term problem.
Tips from PhysioXpert
When you injure your ankle, the following home care methods may help to protect against further injury:
POLICE stands for protection, optimal loading, ice compression, and elevation. It is an acronym used in first aid response and is a modern or modified method that promotes and guides safe and effective loading in acute soft tissue injury management.
Protection: Using crutches and/ or bracing to protect an injured lower extremity while actively engaging in daily tasks is one way one can protect the injury. This could also present the appropriate amount of rest to aid in the initial process of the injury. The amount of weight that you put through the injured joint should be guided by the level of discomfort that you experience (your physiotherapist will guide you through this).
Optimal Loading: This stimulates the healing process as bone, tendon, ligament, and muscle all require loading to stimulate healing. This is done by utilizing several specialized techniques.
Ice: Therapy or cryotherapy reduces tissue metabolism and causes blood vessel constriction. This physiological change slows and prevents further swelling. This also decreases the Propagation of nociceptive neural stimuli to the brain which can reduce pain and muscle spasm. Please note that applying cryotherapy for an extended period can be detrimental to the healing process therefore seeking professional help is necessary.
Compression: serves to prevent further swelling because of the inflammatory process and by reducing bleeding at the site of tissue damage.
Elevation: This will prevent swelling and facilitating waste removal from the site of injury. Ensure that the lower limb is above the level of the hip.
NOTE: all information was obtained from published research on ankle injury therapy and can be provided upon request. For more detailed information feel free to contact us.
Disclaimer: this is not meant for the purpose to diagnose or treat any individual but simply to give a brief overview of ankle injury or sprain.