No Cerveza... No Trabajo
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Where's my beer?
Ice should only be applied for the first 72 hours. You should ice between 10-20 minutes a session, until numbness is obtained. Icing an area much longer than that and you are setting yourself up for tissue damage.
After 72 hours, or when the internal bleeding (black and blue of skin, like a bruise) and swelling subsides, heat is needed. Hot packs, hot towles (wet a towel and stick it in the microwave to desired heat), whirlpools.
Heat increases the blood flow and the "strechability" of the area, decreases pain and stiffness. It also promotes soft tissue repair.
If you haven't been compressing it with a wrap, its probably too late to do it, but it still wont hurt now, to give support to the area. The reason you want to compress it immediately is it will help reduce hemorrhage and bleeding. Its a bitch to wrap an ankle, but you can cut some pads to form and hold it in place with tape.
When you sleep at night, remove the compress and elevate your ankle above your heart level, it will help reduce internal bleeding and swelling. It decreases the bleeding and also helps promote venous return and prevent pooling of blood around the area. Very important at night, when the body slows its functions down.
I had a similiar injury happen to me in HS playing football. Luckily our Dr on the sideline was there to tape my ankle, then re-tape my shoe to my foot. I ran like Frankenstein in that game! But, it helped minimize swelling and bleeding and speeded up my recovery.
It never felt 100% during the year (it happened the second game), but with taping the ankle, then taping the outside of the shoe and my leg, I was able to finish out the season with very little pain.
It did take until the next Wednesday after the injury (on a Friday night) until I was able to put 100% weight on the foot.
Oh yea, obligatory message board adder. If you haven't been checked by a Doc yet, get to the Doc.