Sports Medicine
A Crucial Period
Good Pain, Bad Pain
On Your Knees
Secondary Injuries
Imaging Technology
What's Sciatica?
The Female Athlete
Putting Your Feet First
Itis Schmitis
Too Much, Too Soon
Under the Influence
Twisted (Ankle)
What's Goin' On?
Think Inches, Not Pounds
Preventing Vaginitis
That Painful Pull
Athlete's Heart
Exercise & Arthritis
Chilled to the Bone
Measuring Body Fat
Exercise and Your Breasts
Choosing a Sports Doctor
Lean on Me (Shoulder)
Exercise & Anemia
Exercise Abuse
Pelvis Sighting
Hand Aid
It's All in the Wrist
Back in Action
Altitude Adjustment
Tennis Elbow, Anyone?
Exercising in the Heat
Agony of the Feet
Restless Legs
Night Time Cramps
Birth Control Concerns
No Periods, No Babies?
Post Partum Prescription
Weight Loss Mystery
Undesirable Cooldown
To Brew Or Not To Brew
Fitness After Baby
Biking and Back Pain
Swimmer's Shoulder
A Hidden Athlete
Avoiding Osteoporosis
Drug Testing
Maximum Heart Rate
Headway Against Headaches
Torn Rotator Cuff
Fat Figures
Bloody Urine
Sag Story
Lackluster Leg
Bothersome Bulge
Gaining in Years
Taking It On the Shin
Aching Ankles
Hoop Help
Tender Toes
Meals For Muscle
Growing Pains
Hot Tips
High Altitude PMS
Personal Bests
Air Pollution
Ankle Blues
Heartbreak Heel
Yeast Relief

If You Do the Twist...


Compression Compress the swollen area with an elastic bandage. Begin the wrap at the toes and continue it up about four inches above the ankle. If you begin the wrap above the toes, all the swelling is likely to accumulate in the toes.

Don't wrap it so tightly that it causes more pain or cuts off the circulation to your toes. While the elastic wrap can reduce further swelling, it usually doesn't provide enough support to prevent reinjury.

Elevation Elevate the injured ankle as much as possible, particularly while applying ice; this allows gravity to drain some of the swelling. Place the ankle higher than the knee, the knee higher than the hip and the hip higher than the heart. Use books, a suitcase or a box under the mattress at night; this works better than a pillow.

What Next?

Once the swelling is controlled, the next step depends on the severity of the injury. A severe sprain may need to be casted. If you're unable to bear weight on it, or you hear a pop at the time of injury or there is a great deal of swelling and pain, the ankle may be fractured or unstable. In any of those cases, consult a physician.

X-rays should be taken if you can not walk four steps. They should also be taken if you have tenderness over the bony prominences at the sides of your ankle or the bones in your feet.

If the X-rays do not show a fracture, then you have a sprain. The amount of recovery time you need will depend upon the severity of the sprain and your rehabilitation program. If you're able to bear weight without pain and if swelling and bruising are limited, you can start rehabilitation immediately.

Begin with non-weight-bearing range-of-motion exercises. While sitting, flex the ankle up, pulling gently with a towel. Then push your foot downward against gentle pressure from the towel. You also can flex the ankle to 90 degrees and then press isometrically to the right and left.

It's extremely important not to limp when you walk and bear weight on an injured ankle, even if it is necessary to use crutches. If you walk with a limp, the position-sensing nerves in the foot quickly forget the correct way to walk and instead learn to limp. Subtle changes in this function can leave you with a chronically imbalanced ankle that is easily reinjured.

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Table of Contents

Foreword: Billie Jean King

Comments by Barb Harris
Editor in Chief,
Shape Magazine

General Health
Common Medical Problems
Dental Health
Infectious Disease
Sexual Health
Emotional Well-Being
Eating Disorders
Alcohol & Other Drugs
Environmental Health

The information in this web site is for educational purposes only and is not providing medical or professional advice. It should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. If you have or suspect you might have any health problems, you should consult a physician.

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