Prevention and Treatment of Sprains
The best way to avoid ankle and knee sprains is to be in good physical condition, with good lower limb strength, and to ensure sufficient warm-up and cool-down exercise prior to and/or after working out.
Other preventive strategies include:
- Walk or run on even surfaces. If you walk or run on uneven surfaces, pay attention to the path and move at a pace that allows you to keep an eye on changes in the terrain.
- Avoid aggressive sports and activities for which you have not trained properly.
- Make sure you are using appropriate and properly fitted footwear for the sport or activity.
Recommended treatment of a sprain typically has involved resting the injured area, icing it, wearing a bandage or device that compresses the area, and elevating it (“RICE”). However, at least one recent review led to the conclusion that there is "insufficient evidence from randomized controlled trials to determine the relative effectiveness of RICE therapy for acute ankle sprains in adults." Many physicians and trainers continue to recommend the RICE approach, but it is advisable to treat each case on an individual basis with the advice and oversight of a medical professional.
Subsequent to injury, treatment might include anti-inflammatory medication, exercise, and physical therapy. It is advisable to avoid putting pressure on a sprained area until pain and swelling begin to subside.