Treating 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, Degree Ankle Sprains Outdoors
Ankle sprains are painful and if left untreated can escalate in degrees of severity. Although most usually consist of a twist of the ankle and a few minutes of minor pain, more severe ankle sprains can lead to an abundance of swelling around the ankle joint and days of agonizing pain. Fortunately there are several different methods of treating ankle sprain, even if a medical facility is unreachable.
1st Degree Ankle Sprains
A first degree ankle sprain is a minor ankle sprain and is considered the most common of all ankle injuries. Even if just a small twist of the ankle occurs it is still important to properly treat 1st degree ankle sprains. A first degree ankle sprain consists of mild tenderness and pain along the joint and ligaments surrounding the ankle. If any swelling occurs during a 1st degree ankle sprain it is usually very little. In order to properly treat a 1st degree ankle sprain while outdoors take two to three hours rest from the activity at play and elevate the ankle while lying down. Allowing the time to rest will greatly improve ankle recovery as long as no weight is applied.
2nd Degree Ankle Sprains
A 2nd degree ankle sprain is considered a moderate ankle sprain and still commonly occurs especially when a 1st degree ankle sprain is left untreated. During a 2nd degree ankle sprain increased stretching and possible tearing occurs along the ligaments surrounding the ankle joint. Increased pain will also occur as well as swelling around the entire ankle. To properly treat a 2nd degree ankle sprain while outdoors be sure to allow a period of rest for up to at least 24 hours. During this rest period no weight should be applied to the injured ankle and constant elevation must occur. Wrapping the ankle joint will also be necessary as this will reduce the amount of edema flowing through the injured area.
3rd Degree Ankle Sprains
A 3rd degree ankle sprain is the most severe of all ankle sprains and usually consists of major tearing and stretching along the ankle joint ligaments. Medical attention is recommended if a 3rd degree ankle sprain occurs. However, if a medical facility is not within immediate reach a few steps must be followed in order to prevent further injury to the ankle and provide as much relief as possible. Immediately wrap and elevate the injured ankle. This will ensure that no additional edema can flow into the injured area and will help reduce additional swelling. Elevating the injured ankle will ensure that no additional weight is applied to the ankle. If possible, apply ice to the injured area or cold water. Reducing the temperature around the ankle will also help to reduce additional swelling and may provide temporary comfort from pain.
While treating a 3rd degree ankle sprain be sure to also be seeking medical attention if hiking, camping, or while out in the woods. Leaving a 3rd degree ankle sprain untreated or performing activities that may cause further injury can lead to much more pain and severe tearing to the ligaments and joint surrounding the ankle bone. Another great tip for most injuries including ankle sprains is the R.I.C.E formula. The R.I.C.E formula stands for Rest the injured area. Ice the injured and the area surrounding the injury itself, Compress the injury; this includes wrapping a sprained ankle or even a makeshift sling for an injured arm, and finally Elevate the injury. This last step to the R.I.C.E formula especially applies to ankle sprains. Elevating an injury is very important as elevating greatly reduces further injury.
For more info on treating ankle sprains, check out this article from WebMD.