Sprained foot - 4 treatment tips from the experts
Most of the time, injuries happen very quickly and are almost always unexpected. You want to land on the ground again after a basketball jump shot, you have to stop quickly when returning the ball in tennis, or you suddenly change direction in football - and it happens: you twist your foot. What matters now is quick and correct treatment. The renowned sports physician Dr. Lukas, gives you expert tips on what measures a foot sprain should be treated with.
Twisted foot: You have to reckon with these consequences
If you twist your foot, you will often experience swelling and pain. But these are only the first symptoms. Twisting movements can also result in more serious injuries. Medical professionals also refer to this type of injury as supination trauma, which is defined as being caused by an outward twisting of the ankle.
Most often, at least one of three ligaments that are in direct contact with the ankle is injured. How severe and long-lasting such an injury is depends primarily on how quickly and severely the ankle twists. Sports that involve frequent jumps and rapid changes of direction are particularly affected by twisted foot injuries.
This is particularly the case in football, handball and other ball sports, but it is also one of the recurring motion sequences in trail running, ice hockey or tennis. Ex-handball professional Kevin Struck (Füchse Berlin, VfL Potsdam), for example, experienced this. His ordeal dragged on for a total of six months after twisting his ankle at the 2018 Club World Cup in Doha.
Typical symptoms of a twisted foot
As a rule, swelling develops immediately, which is sometimes accompanied by severe pain. If the ankle is twisted in the process, there is usually a visible bruise. You can recognize this very quickly by the typical blue coloration in the area of the ankle. This coloring is caused by bleeding into the tissue.
However, it does not always have to be one or more torn ligaments. Strains and overstretching also cause severe pain when you twist your foot. Only an accurate diagnosis by a specialist can reveal the type and severity of the injury. In any case, you should initiate first aid measures immediately if your foot is twisted, swollen and possibly even discolored.
How to treat a sprained or twisted foot?
The orthopedist and sports medicine specialist Dr. Lukas has been looking after professional teams in handball, basketball and football for over 20 years. The treatment of twisted feet or ankle injuries is part of his standard repertoire. He explains: "If the foot is twisted, the ankle is swollen and perhaps even discolored, the so-called RICE rule should be applied immediately after the twisting." The name of this rule outlines the individual measures. Accordingly, Dr. Lukas has exactly four tips on how to treat a sprained foot immediately after the injury has occurred. These are his expert tips:
1. R for Rest
If your foot is twisted outwards, you should under no circumstances continue to train or play . This also applies if your foot twists, but pain does not appear immediately after twisting. It is important that an adequate diagnosis is made as quickly as possible. This will prevent the injury from getting worse.
2. I for Ice
Twisted foot - cool it! You don't necessarily have to use ice. A cold spray, for example, also helps to keep swelling or bruising to a minimum. Sponges soaked in ice water with an ideal bandage are also well suited as a cooling element. This is a so-called "hot ice". If you use ice or cool packs, be careful not to get them directly on your skin. This has a negative effect, as once the cooling is removed, blood is sent to the region to equalize the temperature.
3. C for Compression
At the same time, a light pressure bandage should be applied. This immobilizes the joint and reduces the swelling caused by the hematoma. You should also bandage the twisted foot later on.
4. E for Elevation
A twisted foot must always be elevated above heart level to effectively counteract the swelling. This applies both immediately after the injury and later in the recovery process.
If you want to start exercising again after the healing phase, our innovative sports bandage The BetterGuard with its intelligent fluid system is currently the best solution. You can use it to protect and prevent ankle injuries and prevent your foot from twisting again. While correctly using The BetterGuard, the extent of overstretching and torn ligaments can be significantly reduced.