Do They Administer Pain Relief On The Field Of Football Ankle Sprain

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Ankle Sprain

I think almost everyone has experienced an ankle injury at some point in their life, most of us more than once. Most people who are active or athletic experience ankle pain at some point. This was a common injury when I was a rifle company medic in the Army National Guard. I sprained my ankle a few times when I played football or basketball or even baseball in high school.

So what exactly is a sprained ankle called? According to the Micromedex files at the hospital where I work, an ankle sprain is “when the ligaments in the ankle are stretched or torn.” I thought a torn ligament was a separate and serious injury from a sprain. As a medic and Navy corpsman with the Army National Guard, as well as a personal trainer, I still feel that a torn ligament is different and more serious than a sprain. But Micromedex says the same.

I agree that the cause of a sprained ankle or torn ligament is often exactly the same. That’s when both of them usually happen when you suddenly injure your ankle. It may slide into the base on the baseball diamond, or your foot may “turn” as you step onto the base. Walking down the street, you could slip into a pothole and twist your ankle. A football player can have his legs “kicked out from under him” by a tackler and twist an ankle or knee. Any type of trauma that can cause the ankle to bend or twist in an abnormal way.

If you have an ankle injury, you may need x-rays to make sure you have no broken bones. If there are no broken bones, the ankle should heal in about 4-6 weeks. Depending on the severity of the sprain you can be immobilized for anywhere from 6 to 18 months, although I’ve sprained many times and with proper treatment and therapy 6 months seems like a long time if the ligaments aren’t actually torn.

You will experience a lot of pain with an ankle sprain, but most caregivers will prescribe Tylenol or another NSAID to relieve the pain. The abbreviation RICE is how sprains are usually treated.

Rice means rest, ice, compression and elevation.

Rest the affected ankle for at least 24 hours if possible

Ice the area to help reduce swelling It is common to ice the area for 15 to 20 minutes every hour for the first 48 hours. Use an ice pack and place a towel between the ice and the skin.

After 48 hours you may want to replace the ice with heat such as a warm wet towel.

Depending on the severity of the sprain, caregivers may give you an elastic bandage or splint, or both. Follow the given instructions as this can help in speedy recovery.

Whenever possible, you should elevate the affected ankle above your heart. This will help reduce swelling

Doing these things and following the RICE protocol will help you heal your sprain and lead to a faster recovery.

Some people strongly believe in the use of supplements and herbs so below is a short list of some supplements that have been used to treat ankle sprains.

Herbs such as boswellia (Boswellia serrata) have been used for many years, but no double-blind studies have been conducted for effectiveness on ankle sprains.

Capsaicin Cream (Capsicum frutescens) can be applied to ankle injuries to help relieve pain. It is actually made from cayenne pepper and is said to be irritating for the first few applications then the irritation stops. If you use this, wash your hands thoroughly to keep any substance away from your eyes.

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is another herb that has been used for many years but has never been scientifically studied for its effectiveness.

Willow (Salix alba) is an herb that has been used for ankle sprains for many years but has not been studied in a controlled environment for efficacy.

Supplements like DMSO, D-phenylalanine, Glucosamine sulfate, Niacinamide, Vitamin A and Vitamin C are used to treat ankle sprains.

Acupuncture and acupressure, as well as massage and physical therapy, have all been used to treat ankle sprains.

Disclaimer: Nothing in this article should be construed as medical advice in any way. You should see a health care provider if you have an injury or illness.

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