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Suggest treatment for an ankle sprain

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Posted on Tue, 19 Jul 2016
Question: I sprained my ankle almost 2 weeks ago. I started back to exercise class and walking several days ago with a brace. After both the exercise class and an extended period of walking parentheses one hour. I noticed a distinct burning sensation in the area of the sprain. I have been icing and trying to elevate, but am anxious to resume activity. Did I start back too soon or is this part of the process of healing?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Shuba Hariprasad (3 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Too much too soon

Detailed Answer:
Hello,
Thank you for your query.
I'm Dr. Shuba Hariprasad and will be answering your query today.

I believe that you may have done too much too soon.
Resuming an active lifestyle after 2weeks of rest and medical therapy is fine but the activities need to be started slow and gradually increased in intensity over a few weeks.

A burning sensation that occurs after physical exertion is due to over strain and is not part of the healing process.

I suggest that you rest your ankle for a couple of days and resume mild activity. Monitor the duration and Intensity of activity.
Notice when your ankle feels uncomfortable. Stop and go back one level for a few days and gradually increase.

If you notice that this limitation persists more than a month, you will need to see an orthopedic doctor to check for the cause & you may need physiotherapy.

I understand your anxiety. However, please note that recurrent stress to the injured joint may lead to chronic inflammation and pain with extended recovery period.

It is frustrating when one part of your body doesn't cooperate with the rest. I assure you that being aware or the limitations posed by your injured ankle and taking it slow, listening to your body's caution signs will help in the long run.

I recommend :
-rest for 2 days, with ice and elevation

-resume activity at a comfortable pace and slowly increase it. Maintain a log of the intensity, duration and any discomfort, if it occurs.

-warm up - stretches of all joints and warm up exercises before your actual work out.

-supportive shoes

-avoid high impact (on joints) exercise for 2 months like jogging or treadmil. Walking, swimming is fine.

-take a calcium supplement with vitamin D (if you don't already)

If you find that you pain worsens or limits your activities inspite of trying the above measures, see your doctor.
Hope this helps.
Please let me know if there is anything else I can help you with.
Regards,
Dr.Shuba Hariprasad




Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Arnab Banerjee
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Follow up: Dr. Shuba Hariprasad (2 days later)
Thank You! How long should I wear an ankle brace and is that going to facilitate recovery time?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Shuba Hariprasad (4 hours later)
Brief Answer:
One week

Detailed Answer:
Hello,
Thank you for the follow up.

Wearing an ankle brace supports the ankle offering it some level of protection from strain and further injury.
It thus helps prevent (to a certain extent, depending on severity of injury and intensity of activity) and protect the ankle from further injury and helps with recovery and it's duration

For instance, if you were to walk at a moderate speed for 10 - 15 minutes, it will help but if you were to run a marathon, won't help much.

I suggest that you wear the ankle brace for one week and see how it goes. If you feel discomfort or pain after you remove it and exercise, wear it for a week longer.

Hope this helps.
Please let me know if there is anything else I can help you with.
Wish you well.
Regards,
Dr. Shuba Hariprasad
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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Follow up: Dr. Shuba Hariprasad (1 hour later)
Thank You!

Per your advice, I'll continue to wear the brace this week when I am active. Today I walked at a slow pace for about an hour with my brace on and didn't have the burning sensation. I haven't returned to my fitness class(which is not intense, but challenging enough). I have noticed I still have swelling issues, if I'm on my feet throughout the day doing household chores. Will this be the case for awhile? I do take a calcium supplement and bone supplement Strontium I think, anyway, should I consider an anti inflammatory like celebrex or perhaps aleeve?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Shuba Hariprasad (23 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Celebrex & anti inflammatory gels

Detailed Answer:
Hello,
If you have swelling, you have to reduce your activity further. Swelling is a sign of tissue injury & strain.
If persistent, it will hinder the healing process.
Some amount of swelling is expected, but if it occurs or increases after exercise, you are doing too much too soon.
Take frequent breaks. While resting keep your foot above hip level to reduce swelling.
Also make sure the brace is not too tight. You should be able to snugly yet comfortably slide two fingers (both touching your skin/brace) in between the brace an ankle.
If too tight, may obstruct blood flow and if too loose, won't provide enough support.

Yes celebrex (celecoxib) will definitely help. 200mg twice a day with meals for 3 days after which you can take it if you have pain.
Apply local anti inflammatory gels (containing diclofenac or methyl salicylic acid) after a warm compress. Apply gently in circular motion over affected area.
An hour after this, apply ice pack (covered in a thin cloth) for 15-20 minutes. Do this 3 times (at least twice) a day

Do not soak your legs in warm water. Use a hot towel or hot water bag to give the warm compresses prior to application of the gel.
You may continue your supplements.

Hope this helps.
Please let me know if there is anything else I can help you with.
Best wishes and speedy recovery.
Regards,
Dr. Shuba Hariprasad
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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Follow up: Dr. Shuba Hariprasad (27 minutes later)
Thank you! You have really helped me understand what is happening in regards to my injury and given me some concrete ways to cope. I plan to take your advice because I am anxious to move forward and get my life back!!!

Much appreciated XXXXXXX
doctor
Answered by Dr. Shuba Hariprasad (3 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Hope you feel better soon Ms. XXXXXXX

Detailed Answer:
You are most welcome.
I would be happy to help if you need anything else.

I believe understanding creates awareness and that is the key to recovery and continued good health.
Best wishes,
Regards,
Dr. Shuba Hariprasad
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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Answered by
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Dr. Shuba Hariprasad

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2002

Answered : 1087 Questions

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Suggest treatment for an ankle sprain

Brief Answer: Too much too soon Detailed Answer: Hello, Thank you for your query. I'm Dr. Shuba Hariprasad and will be answering your query today. I believe that you may have done too much too soon. Resuming an active lifestyle after 2weeks of rest and medical therapy is fine but the activities need to be started slow and gradually increased in intensity over a few weeks. A burning sensation that occurs after physical exertion is due to over strain and is not part of the healing process. I suggest that you rest your ankle for a couple of days and resume mild activity. Monitor the duration and Intensity of activity. Notice when your ankle feels uncomfortable. Stop and go back one level for a few days and gradually increase. If you notice that this limitation persists more than a month, you will need to see an orthopedic doctor to check for the cause & you may need physiotherapy. I understand your anxiety. However, please note that recurrent stress to the injured joint may lead to chronic inflammation and pain with extended recovery period. It is frustrating when one part of your body doesn't cooperate with the rest. I assure you that being aware or the limitations posed by your injured ankle and taking it slow, listening to your body's caution signs will help in the long run. I recommend : -rest for 2 days, with ice and elevation -resume activity at a comfortable pace and slowly increase it. Maintain a log of the intensity, duration and any discomfort, if it occurs. -warm up - stretches of all joints and warm up exercises before your actual work out. -supportive shoes -avoid high impact (on joints) exercise for 2 months like jogging or treadmil. Walking, swimming is fine. -take a calcium supplement with vitamin D (if you don't already) If you find that you pain worsens or limits your activities inspite of trying the above measures, see your doctor. Hope this helps. Please let me know if there is anything else I can help you with. Regards, Dr.Shuba Hariprasad