For most athletes, an ankle sprain is the epitome of despair. You never really understand the importance of your ankle until you’ve sprained it. Under normal circumstances you’ve probably heard that the time to recover from an ankle sprain is between 2-8 weeks depending on the severity of the injury. No athlete, whether you compete in a sport or simply love hiking or hitting the gym several days per week, likes the sound of being out for 2-8 weeks.
Well, we’ve got good news and we’ve got bad news. The bad news is that the traditional system of recovering from an ankle sprain is broken. The generic R.I.C.E. treatment just doesn’t work to heal you as quickly as possible. The good news is, we can help!
First, let’s take a look at the difference between the different ankle sprain grades, why R.I.C.E. isn’t effective, and then what you can do about it.
What’s your grade?
An ankle sprain occurs when the ligaments around your ankle that provide support become stretched past their normal levels or tear.
With an ankle sprain it is very common to have bruising and swelling after the injury.
- Grade 1: mild sprain with stretching and possible mild tearing of the ligaments – usually results in soreness without instability and possible mild swelling.
- Grade 2: moderate sprain with partial tearing of the ligaments – usually results in moderate pain, some joint instability and swelling with bruising throughout the ankle and foot.
- Grade 3: severe sprain with gross joint instability and possible ligamentous rupture – usually results in severe pain with significant swelling and extensive bruising.
- Avulsion Fracture: instead of ligament stretching, one or more ligaments are torn away from the bone causing the bone to fracture in the process. [Drayer]
Obviously, the more severe your injury, the longer it’s going to take to recover (no matter what methods you use), but relying on R.I.C.E. alone with any of these cases is only going to produce slow results and frustration for you.
Why R.I.C.E. isn’t all it’s cracked up to be
We’ve all heard the R.I.C.E. acronym before and it’s almost everyone’s go to from amateur athletes to physicians, but the tactics of Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation are vastly overused in our treatment regimens. R.I.C.E. is a great method to use immediately after an injury has occurred, but utilizing it past the first 24 hours is a mistake that is actually impeding your healing rather than helping it.
This method was intended to be an immediate remedy to an injury, not an ongoing treatment. Rest, ice, compression and elevation are all tactics used to eliminate swelling and pain from the injured area, not fix the injury.
The biggest issue tends to be the overuse of ice. We’ve all heard that you want to ice an injury and we’ve gotten comfortable with it. Ice numbs the pain which tricks you into thinking that it’s actually healing the injury, but all it is doing is freezing the area which helps with inflammation and pain, but it also slows down blood flow. In order to heal, our bodies must remove toxins that are present in every injury and provide nutrients and oxygen in order to help your injured cells regenerate and repair. Ice slows down this process altogether thus impeding the healing process. The same holds true of rest, compression, and elevation. They’re meant to reduce swelling and pain by eliminating blood flow to the injured area.
The good news
Like we mentioned before, we do have good news. It’s actually possible to recover from an ankle injury faster than the typical 2-8 weeks that most doctors would tell you. With years of studying and research and centuries of proven history, we’ve developed all-natural injury treatment kits focused on improving blood flow, eliminating toxins, and rebuilding and repairing damaged joints and muscles. Think of our injury treatment kits as a boost to help your body repair itself at superhuman speed.
We’ve also developed several helpful resources to aid in your treatment.
Depending on the severity of your injury, you’ll need to use the kit that is designed to help you.
We guarantee that our kits will help you heal faster than you thought you could from your sprained ankle! We encourage you to also take advantage of these FREE resources to help you get back to your sport!
Spend five minutes and complete our FREE Injury Assessment and one of our Injury Specialists will complete a guideline with personalized recommendations to heal your injury!
While this post was a very brief overview of how to recover from an ankle sprain, our FREE Injury Recovery Checklist takes you through everything you should do from the time you injure your ankle to getting back on the field.