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Summer fun in SoCal includes everything from Little League to summer hikes in the hills. What about a trip to see how Falls Canyon near Silverado is doing despite the drought? The trail in Cleveland National Forest follows the creek and has quite a bit of shade, although you’ll want to wear long pants because of the poison oak. You’ll also want sturdy shoes, because who knows when a tree root could throw you off balance and you’d end up with an ankle sprain?

This is not an injury to ignore or try to walk off. In fact, if you do twist your ankle, it’s a good idea to stop immediately and stay off the foot. If it hurts a lot, it’s also good idea to have it checked out, because sometimes it isn’t so plain whether it is a sprain or a fracture of one of the ankle bones—only an x-ray would show for sure.

New research on healing from an ankle sprain says it is still okay to rest and elevate the foot, although clinical trials of traditional RICE therapy have not proven that these methods work all that well. There is some thought that it may be beneficial to let the inflammatory process kick in for a day or two, and just treat with acetaminophen for the first couple of days, and then start NSAIDs to get the swelling down. It’s very important to get our recommendations for medication before you try self-dosing and end up with the wrong consequences.

At Southern California Foot & Ankle Specialists, the goal is to have the damaged ligaments heal properly, so you have the best chance of avoiding problems like arthritis and chronic ankle instability in the future. We will design the best protocol for you or your child when a sprain has occurred. That will include proper treatment and probably a physical therapy element to regain range of motion and strength in the joint. Please call our office in Ladera Ranch, CA if you or a loved one injures an ankle, and we’ll help you heal as fully as possible. Dial (949) 364-9255 (WALK) or set up an appointment through our website.