Bottom Line Inc

How to Survive a Foot Sprain

0
Bottom Line/HEALTH: Dr. Youner, what is the best way to treat a sprained ankle?
Dr. Johanna Youner: Rest, ice, compression, elevation. Rest it—don’t walk on it. Ice it—10 minutes on, 20 minutes off. Compression—get an ACE wrap. And elevation—stay off it.
Bottom Line: Can you put too much ice on? My husband sprained his ankle recently, and he thought, If little is good, more is better. Two days later, he was still swollen.
Dr. Youner: Yeah, because too much ice will stop the circulation. So the 10 minutes on, 20 minutes off rule is good. It allows the circulation to come back. You want to get the swelling out of there so that the area heals, but you don’t want to get the circulation stopped.
Bottom Line: How about, I’ll call it hydrotherapy, where you alternate between hot water and cold water?
Dr. Youner: Not for an acute injury. You shouldn’t be altering hot and cold water on a brand-new injury. On an older injury, to bring circulation to the area, it’s a good idea. But on a new injury, hot water will make it worse.
Bottom Line: We recommend that—we’ve talked about that in the publications, where after the first day or two of ice, and then after that, hot and cold.
Dr. Youner: Yeah.
Bottom Line: How about the electrical stim-machines?
Dr. Youner: Sometimes they work and can help get the muscle fibers on a very deep level by getting rid of some swelling and some water at a very deep level. As part of a physical therapy protocol, it can be helpful.
Bottom Line: How about arnica, one of my favorite things?
Dr. Youner: I love arnica. Arnica is what we use when we have to give injections and we don’t want to get bruising. It works fabulously. It is completely safe. I use arnica on everything. We keep it in the refrigerator in the office, so it’s cold, and when they come in, we can put it on. It will decrease the inflammation and bleeding immediately.
Bottom Line: You’re talking about an arnica topical gel?
Dr. Youner: Arnica gel.
Bottom Line: And the arnica gel is available in grocery stores and drugstores and Whole Foods. How about the arnica pellets? Do you ever recommend people use the homeopathic pellets?
Dr. Youner: Absolutely, for a couple of days. Especially after an acute injury.
Bottom Line: When do you need to have a sprain looked at by a doctor?
Dr. Youner: I would have any sprain looked at by a doctor. If it’s a mild sprain—you twisted your ankle slightly and don’t note much pain—that’s fine. But in a day or two, if you can’t walk on it, you need to see your doctor. You can have broken a bone and not know it.
Bottom Line: Gotcha. Thank you very much.
 
print
Source: Johanna S. Youner, DPM, a podiatric surgeon in private practice and attending physician at New York Downtown Hospital, both in New York City. Dr. Youner is a board-certified foot surgeon and a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. HealthyFeetNY.com

Date: September 29, 2014 Publication: Bottom Line Health
Keep Scrolling for related content View Comments