What is a Sprained Ankle?
A sprain refers to twisting, overstretching, wringing or tearing of ligaments. A ligament is a tough fibrous tissue band that connects two bones in a joint and stabilizes the joint. Of all the joints in the body, the ankle joint is the most prone to sprains. A sprained ankle is one of the most common musculoskeletal injuries. The ankle connects the foot to the lower end of the leg. Three bones (tibia, fibula and talus), many tendons, ligaments, and muscles collectively form the ankle joint.
Homeopathic Treatment For Sprained Ankle
Homeopathic treatment for sprained ankle involves internal healing. These medicines help to heal the torn ligaments and promote complete recovery. They are also administered to help reduce pain and swelling in the ankle. Homeopathy can also treat chronic cases of sprain. Homeopathic medicines are recommended for mild to moderate cases of ankle sprains. In severe cases involving complete tearing of ligaments, it is advised to take help from conventional mode of treatment.
Homeopathic Medicines For Sprained Ankle
The highly recommended homeopathic medicines for sprained ankle include Arnica Montana, Ruta Graveolens, Rhus Tox, Ledum Pal and Bellis Perennis.
1. Arnica Montana – First Line Of Treatment In Sprained Ankle
This natural remedy sourced from plant ‘leopard’s bane’ should be used as the first remedy to treat a sprained ankle. This medicine helps to relieve pain and soreness in ankle. Along with this it also works in reducing swelling and redness. Lastly, it helps to heal bruised (blackish/bluish discoloration from damaged blood vessels under skin) ankle joint.
When and How to use Arnica Montana?
In case of sprained ankle, Arnica should be given in the first place to reduce pain and swelling. Arnica 30C can be used three to four times with a three-hour gap.
2. Ruta Graveolens – For Ligament Healing And Managing Pain & Swelling
Ruta prepared from plant ‘garden rue’ has a magnificent action on ligaments. This medicine helps in healing injured ligaments. It helps to bring pain relief and reduce swelling of ankle. In cases where ankle joint has become weak and lameness (unable to walk correctly due to injury) is experienced, this medicine can prove very effective.
When and How to use Ruta Graveolens?
This medicine should be given in every case of sprained ankle. This medicine works two ways – it helps to promote ligament healing and alleviate pain, and reduce swelling of ankles. After taking few doses of Arnica 30, one may start Ruta 30C. This medicine should be used about three to four times a day. When relief sets in, one may reduce the dosage.
3. Rhus Tox – To Relieve Ankle Stiffness
It is another top-listed medicine having prominent action on ligaments. It is well indicated to manage stiffness of ankle joint. It also manages pain and lessens swelling of ankle. Rhus Tox can also be considered in cases of arthritis (joint inflammation) of ankle that may occur as a complication of sprained ankle.
When and How to use Rhus Tox?
Rhus Tox should be used in cases having stiffness in ankle along with pain and swelling. Though it can be used in different potencies, for ankle sprains it is recommended to take it in 30C potency. Rhus Tox 30C can be taken twice or thrice a day as per intensity of symptoms.
4. Ledum Palustre – For Ankle Pain On Stepping
This natural medicine is sourced from plant ‘wild rosemary’. It offers the best help when there is intolerable pain in ankle on stepping (putting pressure on feet to walk). There is marked swelling on the ankle. Also recommended for persons who have a tendency of repeated spraining of ankles, this medicine strengthens ligaments to prevent frequent spraining .
When and How to use Ledum Palustre?
Those who feel ankle pain while stepping up or down due to a sprained ankle should go with this medicine. Ledum Palsutre 30 C can be taken two or three times a day for good results.
5. Bellis Perennis – To Reduce Intense Soreness
Bellis Perennis is prepared from plant ‘english daisy’. It has remarkable action on ligaments. It is highly effective in cases having intense soreness (pain in the affected area on touching) in cases of sprains. In cases needing it, contracted sensation as from an elastic band around the sprained joint is felt as well.
When and How to use Bellis Perennis?
In cases of sprained ankle, this medicine should be considered to reduce intense soreness at the ankle joint. Bellis Perennis 30C can be used two to three times a day initially. When soreness decreases you may reduce its dosage.
Note One may use the above homeopathic medicines for about one to two weeks in case of mild to moderate ankle sprain cases. If symptoms persist, consult homeopathic physician for further evaluation and prescription.
What are the Reasons and Risk Factors that Lead to a Sprained Ankle?
Overstretching of the ankle ligaments far beyond their normal range of motion is the primary cause of a sprain. The ligament may be partially or entirely torn according to extent of injury. Walking on uneven ground, a mis-step; playing sports like football, soccer, and tennis; wearing high-heeled shoes, a fall or accidentally stepping on someone’s ankle while running or playing, are some risk factors.
Are there Different Types Of Ankle Sprains?
There are two different types of ankle sprains – ‘inversion ankle sprain’ and ‘eversion ankle sprain.’
1. In inversion type of ankle sprain, the foot gets twisted inwards while the outer ligaments are stretched too far, resulting in pain on outer side of ankle.
2. In eversion type of ankle sprain, the foot gets twisted outwards. This causes the inner ligament to stretch too far and causes pain on the inner side of the ankle.
What Are The Grades/Degrees Of Sprained Ankle?
There are three grades of sprained ankles depending on the amount of damage that the ligaments have suffered.
Grade 1: A mild ankle sprain where the ligament gets stretched but not torn, causing mild pain, swelling and stiffness around the ankle.
Grade 2: A moderate sprain where there is partial tearing of the ligament, causing moderate pain and swelling
Grade 3: A severe sprain wherein the ligament gets completely torn, resulting in intense pain and excessive swelling with loss of motion.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of A Sprained Ankle?
The main symptom of a sprained ankle is pain and tenderness of the ankle joint. There is pain in the ankle when weight is borne by the foot, besides swelling. Bruising (black or blue discoloration due to bleeding under skin from damaged blood vessels) on ankle joint may be seen. Walking becomes difficult as the range of movement at the ankle joint becomes restricted.
Complications Of Sprained Ankle
In some cases, complications may arise if ankle sprain is not treated adequately on time or if certain physical activities (like excessive walking, jumping, and running) are started before complete healing of ligaments, or ankle is sprained more than once. These can lead to ankle joint instability, long-term ankle pain and arthritis (joint inflammation) of ankle joint.
How much time does it take for an ankle sprain to heal?
It depends on the grade of ankle sprain. Grade 1 sprain usually heals within three to five weeks’ time. Healing time of grade 2 sprain varies between four to six weeks. Grade 3 sprain may take several months (approximately three to six) to heal.
Management Tips For Ankle Sprain
1. Take rest to keep off stress and pressure on ankle
2. Ice application to reduce swelling, redness and warmth
3. Elevation of ankle above heart level to control swelling
4. Bandaging ankle to immobilize the ankle and reduce swelling
Tips to prevent ankle sprain
1. Wear properly fitted shoes and limit use of high-heel shoes
2. Be very careful while walking or running on uneven surfaces
3. Warm up and stretch before exercise or sports activities
4. Exercise regularly to maintain good muscle strength