If you’ve ever sprained your ankle, you know that the swelling can be extremely uncomfortable. But how long does this swelling last? And what can you do to speed up the healing process? We’ve got all the answers for you in this blog post.
How Long Does A Sprained Ankle Swell
The swelling from a sprained ankle can last for 2-3 days to a few weeks. The amount of time it takes for the swelling to go down will depend on the severity of the injury.
The initial swelling – Immediate swelling after an injury
Acute swelling is defined as swelling that occurs within 24 hours of an injury. If the swelling occurs within the first two hours, it is most likely caused by hemarthrosis and should be evaluated by a doctor.
Typically, swelling will reside naturally within two weeks of the injury, even with more severe ankle sprains. However, if severe swelling occurs after the initial injury, it may take longer for the swelling to go down. Swelling and pain typically last 2-3 days. Walking may be difficult, and crutches may be needed.
The first few days
Typically, swelling will reside naturally within two weeks of the injury, even with more severe ankle sprains. However, if severe swelling occurs after the initial injury, it could take up to 3 to 6 months for the ankle to fully heal. Icing the ankle for at least 24 to 72 hours can help reduce swelling.
Should a sprained ankle still be swollen after 2 weeks?
Most ankle sprains will heal with standard RICE therapy (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) within two to 12 weeks. Swelling for four to six weeks or longer is typical for a sprained ankle. However, if the swelling doesn’t go down after three months, it might be a sign of concern. Even if the pain has subsided, ankle swelling can last 2-3 months post-injury.
When to seek medical attention
If you have other health conditions or take other medications, check with your doctor first. If your sprain is severe or doesn’t feel better after a week, you should consult a doctor. They may give you a brace or cast to hold your ankle still.
Diagnosis is made by history and physical examination. When an ankle sprain occurs, it is important to seek medical attention to ensure that the ligaments are not completely torn. X-rays can also be obtained to rule out any fractures. Treatment typically consists of RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) and over-the-counter pain medications.
Without proper treatment and rehabilitation, the ankle may not heal properly and could be at risk for further injury.
How to reduce swelling Ankle at home
Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) may help reduce swelling and inflammation. The theory is that Epsom salt draws out toxins from the body. Ice can also help reduce swelling.
Reducing sodium (salt) intake can help balance your system and decrease swelling. If sodium intake is too high, your body will hold onto water and cause swelling.
Elevating the feet above the heart, drinking plenty of water, and reducing salt intake may all help minimize swelling.
Soaking the feet in cold water can also help reduce swelling.
Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help reduce swelling at home.
In addition to medication, supplements like magnesium can help reduce swelling.
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