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Ladera Ranch is proud to be a host city for the athletes and guest of the Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles being held this week. You can be sure our first response teams have prepared well for the influx of visitors, offering aid for people suffering everything from dehydration to fractures. During crowded events like this, there is always a chance you could twist your ankle on a curb or by stepping on someone’s foot, so it is helpful to know first aid for ankle sprains yourself.

Step one recommended by most podiatrists is to start RICE therapy immediately after your injury. Don’t know what that acronym stands for? It’s simple:

  • Rest to foot by keeping your weight off from it until you can be seen
  • Ice it for up to 20 minutes at a time, using a cloth for protection between the ice and your skin
  • Compress the area by winding an elastic wrap around it – but not too tightly
  • Elevate the limb above your heart level as much as possible

Why do we start with this? Resting and icing both help to reduce pain in the joint. Icing, compressing, and elevating help keep swelling down. Both will make you more comfortable until the extent of the damage can be determined.

Which brings us to step two—contacting our office for an evaluation. Symptoms of a sprain can mimic those of a fracture, so it really is a good idea to have any such injury looked at by our staff. We can diagnose the grade of sprain and confirm or rule out a break with x-rays. We can also determine whether the joint should be immobilized or not and prescribe pain relievers if needed.

Step three is taking time to recover properly. Treating an ankle sprain includes doing range of motion exercises and rehab to strengthen the tendons and muscles and make the joint strong again. You need expert help to know which exercises to do and how to do them. If you suspect you have sprained your ankle, give Southern California Foot & Ankle Specialists in Ladera Ranch, CA a call by dialing (949) 364-9255 (WALK). Treating ankle trauma is one of our specialties. We’ll take the next steps and guide you through recovery so you can keep enjoying the many activities our city has to offer.