Taking Care of Your Toes and Feet

Ankle sprain remedies for older adults

When you were younger and more active, you were probably more resistant to ankle sprains. A sprain occurs when you bend your ankle or overstretch/tear the ligaments in your ankle tissue. You may sprain your ankle while walking, when slipping/falling, or when engaging in other physical activity.

Recovering from an ankle sprain when you're 65 and above takes more time than when you were younger. This is because tissue growth slows down as you age and your muscles and ligaments become weaker.

Podiatrists know the type of care that's suitable for older adults to make a quick recovery from sprains. The key is to promote healing in the tendons and ligaments that support your ankle. In this way, you'll be able to exert weight on your foot and walk normally within a reasonable time frame.

Remedies suitable for older adult ankle sprains

There are different degrees of spraining that your ankles might experience. A mild sprain occurs when your ankle tissue is only mildly extended. There are typically no ligament tears, excessive swelling, or persistent pain from a mild sprain. However, more serious ankle sprains that involve ligament tears may require a more thorough treatment process and recovery period.

Here are some remedies that your podiatrist may recommend after you experience an ankle sprain.  

1.    Ankle braces

Ankle braces hold your muscle tissue in place to prevent any further extension after a sprain. This solution is useful for older adults because the area may be quite sensitive and the injury easily worsened by sudden movements. Ankle braces provide support to the foot and allow your tendons to heal. A bandage may also be applied to help provide adequate support.   

2.    Elevation and icing

In cases where your ankle is swollen, your podiatrist may recommend elevating the ankle to promote blood flow. In this way, the affected tissue will receive the necessary nutrients to heal faster. The angle of elevation and how often you should do it will depend on the extent of your injury. Icing can also help reduce the swelling and ease tension and discomfort.  

3.    Physical therapy

Physio is also an important remedy for sprained ankles in older adults. Because your muscles are older and likely less active, stretching and contracting your ankle tissue can promote healing. The degree of stretching should start gently and then gradually become more intense as your tendons continue to recover.  

4.    Crutches

Extensive ankle sprains may necessitate the use of crutches. Crutches provide ankle support and prevent you from putting weight on the torn ligament until it begins to heal.  

To learn more, contact a podiatrist.